Africa's best bank for sustainable finance 2018: FirstRand Bank
Awards for Excellence 2018
On the back of the worst drought in living memory, the City of Cape Town issued South Africa’s first true green bond last year. It turned to one bank to be the lead arranger – Rand Merchant Bank (RMB). The city was able to raise R1 billion ($73 million) from eight allocated bidders, having received bids of almost R5 billion from 31 different bidders. The proceeds will be put to use financing green projects such as emergency water supply initiatives.
FirstRand Bank, RMB’s parent, has a deep commitment to society and the environment, earning it the award for Africa’s best bank for sustainable finance.
Last year, the bank reviewed and updated its environmental and social risk management (ESRM) policy, offering continued training and refresher courses for employees and increasing levels of due diligence for certain transactions. Its thorough ESRM process has been rolled out to nearly all of FirstRand’s business and subsidiaries, including RMB.
Among those companies it will not finance are those with unsustainable fishing practices, for example, and it has a strong focus on not financing companies that have a detrimental impact on water quality and use.