UOB raises sustainable finance target to $30 billion by 2025

UOB's fourth-quarter net profit surged 48 per cent year on year to $1.02 billion. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - UOB has raised its sustainable finance target for 2025 to $30 billion as it helps customers transition to a low-carbon economy.

This comes after Singapore's third-largest bank last year exceeded its target to build a sustainable finance portfolio of $15 billion by 2023.

UOB is among lenders that are accelerating their efforts in green finance - funding through instruments such as loans and bonds to support sustainable or sustainability-linked projects.

Its deputy chairman and chief executive Wee Ee Cheong said on Wednesday (Feb 16) that the bank's total assets under management in environmental, social and governance-focused (ESG) investments has grown to $9 billion.

"We continue to support our clients' efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, we became carbon neutral for our own footprint through continued focus on energy efficiency and the purchase of renewable energy and carbon credits," said Mr Wee at the bank's results briefing.

UOB's fourth-quarter net profit surged 48 per cent year on year to $1.02 billion on the back of higher loan growth and fee income.

Its green initiatives include the U-Energy financing platform for energy efficiency projects and U-Drive solution for electric vehicle businesses and end-users.

The lender said it achieved carbon neutrality last year for its own operations.

Mr Wee said the bank will continue to explore pathways to support the decarbonisation of its financed emissions - those generated from lending and investing - and support customers in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

In February last year, DBS raised its sustainable finance target for 2024 to $50 billion, more than double its previous $20 billion target. It has completed $39.4 billion in sustainable financing transactions since 2018.  

Meanwhile, OCBC said in June 2020 that it plans to expand its sustainable finance portfolio to $25 billion by 2025. The bank cracked its 2022 goal of $10 billion in sustainable finance in the first quarter of 2020.

UOB shares closed 0.21 per cent higher at $32.75 yesterday. 

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