Standard Chartered is launching a set of sustainable trade finance solutions across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, which it says will help its clients to meet ESG-related sustainability objectives.
The bank’s sustainable trade finance proposition will see it embed the Loan Market Association’s (LMA) green and sustainability-linked loan principles into its offering.
The solutions can be used to finance underlying goods to meet agreed sustainability standards, to support trade for suppliers who meet ESG metrics, or to finance trade in sustainable industries, such as renewable energy, and transition activities, such as emissions reduction.
“The proposition, which is optional, is in addition to our traditional trade finance offering and is designed to support our clients in their journey to implement sustainable practices across their supply chains,” Pradeep Nair, head of structured solutions, transaction banking at Standard Chartered tells GTR. “By building the LMA’s principles into our trade financing framework, we hope to encourage improved disclosure and reporting, and eventually result in more focused investments towards a more sustainable future.”
The LMA green loan principles (GLP) and sustainability-linked loan principles (SLLP) seek to recognise and encourage the adoption of environmentally and socially sustainable economic activity and growth. As part of the principles, a borrower needs to communicate to its lenders its sustainability objectives, with both sides setting objectives to be met. In many cases, the loan terms are linked to the borrower’s sustainability performance.
“These metrics will be developed based on our assessment of our clients’ specific ESG parameters which have the most impact, in discussion with the anchors in their supply chains as well as ESG rating agencies. Following the principles developed by the LMA allows the sustainability-linked loan targets or ESG metrics that are set by our clients to be ambitious, measurable, meaningful to their business and ideally aligned to an external benchmark,” says Nair.
For the time being, Standard Chartered’s sustainable trade finance offering includes supply chain finance, invoice financing, letters of credit, receivables services, bonds and guarantees. The banks says that more products will follow in due course.