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Center-invest Bank Introduces Russia’s First "Green" Deposit Account

On 10 March 2020 Center-invest Bank introduced a new "Green" deposit account, the only one of its kind in Russia. The deposit provides a 4.6% annual return.

The main difference between the Green deposit account and other deposit accounts is the purpose for which the funds are invested. All of the funds deposited in Green deposit accounts are to be used for projects that contribute towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Russia’s National Projects.

The product is a ruble deposit account with a term of 17 months, just as there are 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. The minimum deposit is RUB100,000. Center-invest Bank will report annually on how the funds have been used to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Russia’s National Projects.

"Our experience with "green" bonds shows that environmental bank products and services are popular not only among institutional investors, but also among the general population," said Lidia Simonova, Chairman of Center-invest Bank’s Executive Board. "The return on our Green deposit account is competitive, but the product also has a social and environmental dimension. We are not aware of any other bank in Russia offering such a product, and so once again we are trailblazers in establishing a new market."

The Green deposit account was developed in line with ESG banking principles and as part of the bank’s Strategy for 2019-2021 "The ESG Digitalisation of Center-invest Bank’s Ecosystem". The bank’s Strategy combines Russia’s national projects and the global Sustainable Development Goals. The close intertwining of national and global goals in Center-invest Bank’s work means affordable loans for retail customers, support for education and science, helping small business, promoting innovation, new financial technologies and the digital economy, and facilitating international trade and partnership for the purposes of sustainable development.

The Green deposit account is just one part of the Bank’s broader programme of investment in sustainable development and the national projects. In November 2019 Center-invest Bank’s "green" bonds were listed on the Moscow Exchange. This was another watershed moment, not only for the bank but for the whole of Russia’s financial sector.