Finance | Energy

Training Bangladeshi banks in E&S

March 20184 min readClimate Finance, Financial InclusionESG, Green Lending, Technical Assistance

Know-how transfer to manage key risks

In line with local regulatory requirements, most financial institutions in Bangladesh are strengthening their environmental and social management system frameworks to manage key risks. Using its publicly funded Technical Assistance facility, the responsAbility-managed climate fund has teamed up with prominent partners to provide targeted training to 250 banking officials to build local knowledge and capacity in the field.

Since the introduction of the Environmental Risk Management Guidelines for the banking and financial institutions of Bangladesh in 2011 by the Central Bank, the awareness of environmental and social (E&S) risk management has increased tremendously in the financial sector.

Banks as well as Non-banking Financial Institutions are taking proactive steps to address E&S risks within their business operations and are developing or strengthening their in-house environmental and social management systems frameworks to manage key risks.

E&S knowhow: a scarce commodity

As projects that require technical E&S expertise emerge, however, it becomes clear that locally qualified subject matter experts in sectors where financial institutions have significant exposures remain a scarce commodity in the market. Building local knowledge and capacity to address E&S risks and identify innovative business opportunities has therefore become a priority for the financial sector.

First training series 2015

With this in mind, development finance institutions FMO and OeEB, who are investors in the climate fund, together with three other development finance institutions and four local banking partners including the climate fund’s partner City Bank Limited piloted the first ESROM training series project in 2015, where a total of 150 bankers were trained on E&S risk and opportunities management.

E&S training 2018: one step further

Encouraged by the success of ESROM-1, a similar initiative has been undertaken this year to further build the knowledge base of the bankers and shine the light on new areas of E & S risk management.

The climate fund teaming up with development finance institutions

From the international side, FMO, in collaboration with the responsAbility-managed climate fund, Oe-EB, DEG and Proparco, have spearheaded the endeavor. ESROM-2 has reached out to even a greater scope and partnered up with nine local banking and financial institutions.

“The approach is shifting from a focus on E&S risks, to a more opportunity driven approach.”

Dave Smit, Senior Investment Officer for the Bangladesh portfolio, FMO

The participating partner banks 2018

  1. BRAC Bank Limited

  2. Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited

  3. Eastern Bank Limited

  4. IDLC Finance Limited

  5. Mutual Trust Bank Limited

  6. One Bank Limited

  7. Prime Bank Limited

  8. United Commercial Bank Limited

The programme aims to deliver eight training sessions between February and April 2018, covering approximately 250 banking officials, especially the relationship and credit side.

“We are very happy about the collaborative training event for bank staff as well as clients. This initiative will surely impact the knowledge and skillset of this developing industry in the E&S space.”

Mohammad Jahangir Alam, The City Bank

The training programme: three focus areas

  • E&S due diligence as per regulatory guidelines

  • Critical E&S issues in high-risk sectors often highlighted in E&S Impact Assessment

  • Applicability and scope of IFC’s Performance Standards.

Strong commitment from participating banks

With full support from the top managements of the participating financial institutions, ESROM-2 is a vivid testimony of how international financing partners and local financial institutions can team up to ensure adherence to the regulatory framework and further develop the E&S management capacity in the Bangladeshi financial sector. 

Eva Tschannen, Head of Technical Assistance

“Via this collaborative effort, we aspire to contribute to attaining the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.”

Eva Tschannen, responsAbility

Eva Tschannen, who manages the Technical Assistance facilities for responsibility, commented: “This initiative will help the bankers as well as the entrepreneurs comprehend the true essence of environmental and social safeguards in a much broader manner. Via this collaborative effort, we aspire to contribute to attaining the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.”