OCBC creates Chief Sustainability Officer role to accelerate sustainability efforts
Together with the set-up of the Board Sustainability Committee in February 2023, OCBC significantly increases its focus on sustainability
Singapore, 24 July 2023 – OCBC, the second largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets, today announces the creation of the role of Group Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) with a strong business and client focus. This new role will actively lead the sustainability agenda, including the transition to Net Zero economy on both the lending and wealth management fronts. With a stronger business performance measurement, the role will go beyond promoting and reporting of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) content or strategy to ensure effective business alignment.
OCBC set up the Board Sustainability Committee in February 2023 to step up efforts in its oversight of ESG issues. With the creation of the Group CSO role, OCBC significantly increases the focus on sustainability, a key pillar of its Corporate Strategy.
Sustainable finance veteran, Mr Mike Ng, will assume the Group CSO role on 1 August 2023. The Group CSO will build on OCBC’s solid track record in sustainability, and accelerate the OCBC Group’s efforts. He will also actively lead the efforts in supporting clients’ transition and delivering innovative products and services to help clients achieve their climate action plans.
Led by Mr Ng as the Head of the Sustainability Office for Global Wholesale Banking, the division responsible for small and medium sized enterprises and large corporates, OCBC announced in May 2023 the decarbonisation targets for six sectors and the key actions needed to achieve Net Zero in its financed emissions by 2050. OCBC is well on track to cross the S$50 billion mark in committed sustainable finance in 2023, two years ahead of schedule in hitting the target of ‘S$50 billion by 2025’. The Sustainability Office launched two innovative sustainable banking products for corporates this year – the OCBC 1.5°C loan and a green loan offering with carbon credits. OCBC remains the only bank with a structured SME Sustainable Financing Framework which was launched in 2020, to help SMEs in their net-zero transition. This led to OCBC being recently awarded ‘Best Bank for Sustainable Finance in Singapore’ by Global Finance.
Its private banking subsidiary Bank of Singapore was recognised as ‘World’s Best for ESG Investing’ by Euromoney in 2023. OCBC opened the OCBC Mangrove Park in Singapore last year and launched the Families100 by OCBC programme this year to provide support to low-income families beyond oneoff financial aid. Close to 240,000 individuals, across the Group’s core markets, benefited from its #OCBCCares Programme in 2022. Annex A provides more information on the sustainability milestones of the OCBC Group over the years.
Mr Ng has been at the forefront of OCBC’s sustainable finance efforts. He joined the Bank as the Head of Structured & Project Finance in 2010 before expanding his role to drive the offerings of sustainable finance solutions among large corporates in 2018. In June 2022, he assumed the role of Head of Sustainability Office, Global Wholesale Banking.
In the past five years, Mr Ng has advised corporate clients across different industries on their Net Zero transition and has led the Bank to make significant headway in the renewable energy sector, financing solar and wind farm projects worldwide. He was instrumental in OCBC’s commitment to cease financing for new coal-fired power plants in 2019 – the first Singapore bank to do so.
OCBC Group Chief Executive Officer, Ms Helen Wong, said, “The diversified nature and size of the OCBC Group, coupled with the catalyst role that we play in the society, required us to curate the role of a Chief Sustainability Officer differently from other organisations. OCBC has always been very strong in community development and governance. In recent years, we have stepped up our efforts in climate actions. Therefore, this new role requires an individual to have a strong sense of business acumen as well as deep expertise not just in sustainability and climate change but also in financial products and services.”
“Mike is thus a natural fit. He is highly regarded as a sustainable finance veteran with an innovative and forward-looking mind. Throughout his career in OCBC, he has always pushed for greater heights in achieving excellence. I have no doubt that he will be able to replicate the success that he has achieved so far in his new role as the Group Chief Sustainability Officer.”
OCBC’s Sustainability Milestones