SINGAPORE (Nov 18): DBS has become the first bank in Singapore and Southeast Asia to adopt the Equator Principles, which will see it go the extra mile in disclosing information related to large-scale developments that it is involved in.

This is a step further than the due diligence processes the bank already adheres to when assessing large project financing deals.

The Equator Principles is a globally recognised risk management framework adopted by financial institutions for determining, assessing and managing environment and social risk in development projects.

Based on the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards published by the World Bank Group, the Equator Principles also outline environmental and social standards for large scale developments.

“We believe that the region will see significant infrastructure development over the next few years and financing will play a central role,” says Tan Su Shan, group head of DBS’ Institutional Banking Group.

“As that happens, we acknowledge the importance of incorporating environmental and societal considerations into our lending decisions, and to managing our business in a balanced and responsible way, contributing to a more sustainable future,” she adds.

DBS says it believes that Singapore’s position as a global financial centre and legal hub will also help create an inclusive environment to facilitate infrastructure projects.

This year, the bank is expected to close more than $4 billion of sustainable finance transactions, comprising green loans, sustainability performance-linked loans and renewable energy financing.

“The Principles thrive on being singularly focused on avoiding and mitigating impacts arising from asset-level financing. In line with Singapore’s ambition to be a hub for infrastructure finance, DBS will make good use of this robust environmental and social due diligence guide,” says Tan.

As at 12.30pm, shares in DBS are trading 23 cents lower at $26.39.