Saudi SNB affirms strong ESG goals in its sustainable finance framework

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Saudi National Bank (SNB), the largest banking group in Saudi Arabia, has become the first commercial banking group in the Kingdom to establish a Sustainable Finance Framework, with HSBC acting as sole Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) structuring agent.

The SNB’s Sustainable Finance Framework is built on four main pillars including, promoting sustainable financing, preserving the environment, empowering individuals and communities, and promoting principles of ethical governance.

SNB’s sustainability strategy reinforces the bank’s commitment to supporting the Kingdom’s broader development agenda through Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative. It has also put in place several social initiatives and projects, including supporting small businesses, microfinance, and other community activities.

The Bank aims to position itself as a leading bank by making a positive impact both on the national and international level through its ESG approach and to develop its ESG disclosures in line with the Saudi Stock Exchange’s latest guidelines.

Anjuli Pandit
Anjuli Pandit
Head of Sustainable Bonds for EMEA

“SNB has an incredible opportunity to play an important role in the Kingdom’s transition to a net-zero economy and its broader Vision 2030 agenda. HSBC is pleased to have worked with SNB on the establishment of its Sustainable Finance Framework and to support our client to make a lasting impact in the region and towards the Kingdom’s objectives.”

The framework’s strength resides in SNB’s ability to identify relevant sustainability benefits of eligible environmental and social projects, such as diversifying the country’s energy mix, lowering emissions, boosting biodiversity, supporting women-owned SMEs, and reducing unemployment.

The bank also aims to establish a sustainable finance working group (SFWG), which will comprise representatives from various divisions. The SFWG will review the project list and assess project eligibility for sustainable financing in accordance with the predetermined eligibility criteria, oversee the arrangements established to ensure the green, social, or sustainable bonds or loans, and evaluate and monitor the allocation of the proceeds.

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