Karachi, Pakistan, February 16, 2010—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, together with the State Bank of Pakistan
and the Pakistan Banks Association, today published guidelines to help
Pakistani banks adopt sustainable banking principles that encourage expanded
access to finance to underserved populations and more socially and environmentally
responsible financing decisions.
The guidelines will help banks and other financial institutions in Pakistan
increase investment in energy efficiency, cleaner production, and renewable
energy projects, which will help reduce the effects of climate change.
Adopting the guidelines will also help Pakistan’s banks evaluate social
and environmental risks, and develop innovative products, such as loans
to women entrepreneurs, or insurance for those without access to financial
IFC, the State Bank of Pakistan, and the Pakistan Banks Association will
hold workshops on February 10-11 for banks and non-bank financial institutions
in Pakistan to promote the adoption of these guidelines.
James Gohary, IFC’s Principal Operations Officer for Access to Finance
in the Middle East and North Africa, said, “We plan to engage further
with Pakistan’s banking sector on sustainable energy finance by bringing
IFC’s investment products and technical expertise to financial institutions
seeking to develop sustainable practices.”
Inayat Hussain, State Bank of Pakistan Executive Director, said, “We appreciate
the efforts of IFC and the Pakistan Banks Association in helping build
environmental and social capacity in Pakistan’s financial sector. We hope
that these guidelines will be useful for the financial sector, society
and Pakistan’s economy at large.”
The sustainable banking guidelines cover international best practices for
sustainability management, including the Equator Principles, a globally
recognized banking industry framework for addressing environmental and
social risks in project financing.
Increased investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy is a pillar
of IFC’s sustainability and climate change strategy.IFC is providing support
to local financial institutions in sustainable energy finance with commitments
of more than $400 million in IFC funds in eight countries around the world.
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively
on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging
markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase
to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing
countries—including by supporting sustainable banking practices in the
Middle East and North Africa.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5
billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries
during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.