Our responsible financing framework and policies

Our Responsible Financing Framework and Policies outline our approach and dedication to managing ESG risks within our lending practices. We firmly adhere to a policy of non-engagement in any financing activities that are on our exclusion and prohibition lists where there is clear evidence of immitigable adverse impact to the environment, people or communities, or where there is a breach of local regulations.

Our Policies

Responsible Financing Framework and Policy
  • Established to manage ESG risks in our credit decision process.
  • By considering environmental and social risks, we will be better able to assess and advise our clients on their ESG risk exposure. This in turn allows us to better manage the Bank’s ESG risk exposure.
Responsible Financing Sector-specific Policies

Our Responsible Financing sector-specific policies cover all the sectors identified as high risk by the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) Responsible Financing Guidelines:

  • Responsible Financing Policy for Agriculture & Forestry
  • Responsible Financing Policy for Mining and Metals
  • Responsible Financing Policy for Energy
  • Responsible Financing Policy for Chemicals
  • Responsible Financing Policy for Infrastructure
  • Responsible Financing Policy for Waste Management
Responsible Investing Policy
  • Established to enhance returns and our risk-taking decisions by integrating ESG considerations into the Bank’s own investment activities.
  • By investing responsibly and ensuring that our investment activities do not violate our ESG exclusions and prohibitions, the Bank is able to better fulfil our commitment towards sustainability and avoid supporting activities that may be harmful to the environment or society.

Find out more about our Responsible Financing Sector-Specific Policies. Our policies are regularly reviewed and updated in response to the changing external environment.

Exclusion List
We will not engage in or knowingly finance any activity where there is clear evidence of immitigable adverse impact to the environment, people or communities. Our exclusion list lays out the activities we will not finance. Some of these are sector-specific while others are cross-cutting.

Specifically, our sector-specific prohibitions include:

  • Oil and Gas: We will not provide new project financing / project refinancing to upstream Oil & Gas projects that obtained approval for development after 2021.
  • Energy: We will not provide new financing / refinancing for coal-fired power plants or new financing / refinancing to clients where more than 50% of their total power generation capacity / revenue comes from coal-fired power plants.
  • Mining and metals: We will not provide new financing / refinancing for thermal coal mines or new financing / refinancing to clients where more than 50% of their mines comprised thermal coal or more than 50% of revenue comes from thermal coal mines.
  • Defence: We will not provide financing for the production or trade in controversial weapons and munitions for offensive warfare (e.g. nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions).

We also prohibit the financing of:

  • the production or activities involving harmful or exploitative forms of forced labour or child labour;
  • projects located in or have significant impact on United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites and Wetlands of International Importance designated under the Ramsar Convention; and
  • production or trade in wildlife including products regulated under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce.

Our ESG Risk Assessment Process

Find out more about our ESG risk management process.

Signatory to the Equator Principles

Equator Principles, a risk management framework adopted by OCBC

OCBC adopted the Equator Principles as an initiative for responsible financing. The Equator Principles is a risk management framework adopted voluntarily by financial institutions to determine, assess, and manage the environmental and social risks associated with financing of large-scale projects such as infrastructure projects to expand transport links and enhance access to basic services such as energy and water.

As a signatory to the Equator Principles, we have integrated requirements from the Equator Principles into our ESG Risk Assessment Process for transactions within the scope of the Equator Principles. In 2021, an Equator Principles Implementation Procedure was established to provide relationship managers with detailed guidance on conducting ESG risk assessment for applicable transactions.

Find out more about the Equator Principles.

Signatory to United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce

OCBC is a member of the United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce, a leading global effort to combat illegal wildlife trade. We recognise that the illegal wildlife trade — among the five most lucrative global crimes — has a devastating impact on the dwindling populations of endangered wildlife left in the world. We are committed to ensuring that the Bank does not facilitate or tolerate financial flows derived from the illegal wildlife trade and the corruption associated with it, such as the sale of illegal wildlife products.