Press Releases

IFC Helps Publish Sustainable Finance Guidelines in Pakistan

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa

Phone: +202 2461 4230

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 services.

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.

About IFC

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