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Comparing Banks in ASEAN: How Well Do They Perform on Responsible Banking?

Responsible Investment

Comparing Banks in ASEAN: How Well Do They Perform on Responsible Banking?

  • Comparing Banks in ASEAN: How Well Do They Perform on Responsible Banking? How well do the top 34 banks in ASEAN perform in terms of corporate governance and ESG integration?
  • Date: Feb 08, 2019
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About the Report:

The Sustainable Banking in ASEAN 2018 report and associated interactive web-based tool, Sustainable Banking Assessment (SUSBA), were launched by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore in September 2018.

The report benchmarks 34 of the largest regional banks in six ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) against indicators representing sound corporate governance (CG) and robust ESG integration practices. It highlights the potential for the finance sector to drive ASEAN’s sustainable development. The assessment framework was developed based on:

  1. Existing international frameworks, standards and initiatives, such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), among others;
  2. Relevant national principles and guidelines on CG and sustainability reporting;
  3. WWF’s corporate engagement experience and science-based sustainability expertise;
  4. WWF’s experience from participating in cutting-edge sustainable finance initiatives and from co-developing multiple sustainability standards;

The report finds some positive trends, but emphasises that if the ASEAN region is to experience resilient and sustainable development, banks must accelerate the rate at which they integrate ESG, including climate, deforestation and water risks and opportunities, into their core business strategies. The report ends with recommendations for how banks, policymakers and investors can address this need.

The SUSBA tool was developed to assist by allowing customised benchmarking of banks against specific peers and indicators, and by tracking progress over time. The general public can access summary results, while key stakeholders (regulators, banking associations, banks) can access detailed results and assess performance on key issues such as climate change, deforestation, water risk, human & labour rights. They can also test banks’ readiness to implement TCFD recommendations.  

Both report and tool are essential references for regulators, banking associations and banks across ASEAN, as well as for investors globally, to assess banks and identify areas for improvement in CG and ESG integration.

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