Warsaw, Poland, May 22, 2017—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is investing EUR 137 million in subordinated
green bonds issued by Bank Zachodni WBK, to expand its capital base and
increase its capacity to finance climate-related projects.
This is the first green bonds issuance in
Poland by a commercial bank, following the Polish government’s green bonds
issuance last year—recognized by Climate Bonds Initiative as the first
government issuance of green bonds worldwide. With IFC’s support, BZ WBK
will be able to significantly expand its existing climate portfolio in
renewable energy, green buildings, and climate-smart equipment, among others.
“Our cooperation with IFC started in 2016
when we signed a loan for our leasing subsidiary, supporting the growth
of SMEs and women entrepreneurs in Poland. With this new transaction, we
are emphasizing that the environmental aspects of our lending business
are also very important. We are glad that we can partner in this project
with IFC, a global expert in green finance,” said Maciej Reluga, CFO and
Management Board member of Bank Zachodni WBK.
Poland has benefited from government support
for green projects, and is among the top 10 countries in the European Union
investing in energy efficiency measures. However, a lack of targeted financing
products and low appetite for risk in climate financing has hindered the
development of green finance. With IFC’s support, BZ WBK will play a key
role in increasing investments in Poland's climate financing market.
“A key priority in IFC’s climate finance
strategy is to support existing clients that are already active in climate
finance,” said Tomasz Telma, IFC Director for Europe and Central Asia.
“BZ WBK is an excellent partner in this respect—the bank has a well-developed
climate finance strategy and is committed to expanding its activities in
this market segment. This should provide a strong impetus for further market
development in Poland.”
Climate change remains a strategic priority
for IFC. To date, IFC has invested $15.3 billion in long-term financing
for renewable power, energy efficiency, climate smart agribusiness, green
buildings and smart cities. In addition, IFC mobilized $10.1 billion of
capital from other investors into climate business.
IFC began investing in Poland more than 25
years ago and has supported a number of projects in construction materials,
hospitality, financial markets, and other sectors. Today, in line with
the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy, IFC in Poland is
looking to support projects in areas where it can have a catalytic effect,
facilitate resource mobilization, co-finance European Union-funded projects,
and support the international expansion of Polish companies.
About Bank Zachodni WBK
Bank Zachodni WBK is the third-largest bank
in Poland by total assets, active in retail, SME, corporate and specialized
financing. It owes the ever-growing robustness of its position to the dynamic
development, excellent products, innovation, consistent brand development
and relentless pursuit of perfection in the relationship with customers.
Listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, since 2011 has been a part of Santander
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our
six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most.
In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly
$19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the
private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.