WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The World Bank Group is deepening financing for development projects through commercial banks as financial intermediaries. However, while established international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank and the International Financial Corporation (IFC) adhere to high standards in safeguarding, the safeguard policies of intermediary banks and overall environmental, social, and governance (ESG) accountability in countries where they operate still lag behind. Moreover, emerging countries’ Public Finance Institutions are also stepping up cross-border financing for businesses, though thorough environmental and social checks are not fully realized, therefore, compromising the wellbeing of recipient communities.
Fair Finance Asia, together with Responsibank Indonesia and Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES), will be organizing a session ‘Reaching the Tipping Point for Sustainable Finance: The Role of Emerging Country Donors & IFIs’ tomorrow, at the World Bank/ IMF Annual meeting. The session will provide a platform for senior representatives from Financial Services Authority of Asian countries, World Bank/ IFC and civil society, to come together to identify steps towards working collaboratively in the implementation of sustainable financing and safeguard policies for emerging country Public Finance Institutions (PFIs) and banks.
Mr. Wimboh Santoso, the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners from Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK), which is the Financial Services Authority of Indonesia, will be speaking at the event. Mr Santoso will be talking about the policies that OJK has put in place to improve sustainability within the financing aspect of commercial banks.
The Global Coordinator of IFC’s Sustainable Banking Network, Rong Zhang, will also be speaking at the event. The World Bank Group and other IFIs are playing a role in developing smart sustainable finance policies. Stakeholders such as the civil society can promote the implementation of sustainable finance policies by tracking and monitoring activities on the ground.
Mr. Makoto Okubo, General Manager of International Affairs at Nippon Life Insurance & Sherpa of the Insurance and Pension Group at the Asia Pacific Financial Forum will join the panel to share insights from the private sector perspective and updates on ESG policy development among the members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group.
The panel will also comprise of civil society representatives in the sphere of sustainable finance – Yuki Tanabe, Program Director, JACSES, Myriam Vander Stichele, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) Netherlands and Member of the European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, and Bernadette Victorio, Regional Program Coordinator, Fair Finance Asia – thus enabling a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the issue.
The session will be held tomorrow, on October 17, 2019, at the World Bank / IMF Annual Meetings which is currently taking place in Washington D.C., USA.
About Fair Finance Asia
Fair Finance Asia (FFA), an Oxfam initiative, is a network of civil society organizations working in Asia to ensure that financial institutions in the region give due considerations to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria in their business activities. Seven countries within the region are a part of the FFA: Cambodia, Japan, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.