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04.08.2020

Center-invest Bank recognized as CEE's best bank for corporate responsibility 2020

Center-invest Bank has won the category Best Bank in Central and Eastern Europe for corporate responsibility in the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2020. The Bank was selected for its transparent reporting in accordance with Russian and international standards, environmental and social responsibility, and successful localization of the ESG banking business model.

The competition jury noted that Center-invest Bank clearly follows its business strategy when working with SMEs in the regions where it operates, which is economically justified and profitable. Among other factors, the organizers were impressed by the bank’s educational programmes for the population, youth, women’s and social entrepreneurship, and the distance economy, the creation of Financial Literacy Centers with universities, and acceleration programmes for entrepreneurs that combine training, mentoring and financial products.

Center-invest Bank is one of the leading banks for SMEs, ranking 5th in Russia for size of sole traders loan portfolio, and 11th for volume of SME lending. The bank’s effective credit risk management and support for the modernization of agribusiness have been commended by Moody’s.

Center-invest Bank became the first financial institution in Russia to issue exchange-traded green bonds in November 2019. This issue is listed by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA).

Center-invest Bank started providing green loans in 2005, financing energy efficiency projects for small business, retail customers and homeowners’ associations in Russia. To date, we have financed 22,000 projects, lending in excess of RUB17.6bn. Loans for the renovation of apartment buildings (167 projects, RUB276 million) have improved the living conditions of 52,000 people. Our loan programme has resulted in an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of more than 200,000 tonnes (equivalent to planting 8.1m trees a year).

All of Center-invest Bank’s services and projects present a positive example of ESG banking and reflect its innovative and effective initiatives to strengthen local communities, protect natural resources, increase the financial literacy of the population, develop entrepreneurship, and promote social mobility. To date, the bank’s investments in the social sphere have exceeded RUB1.1 bn.

The corporate culture at Center-invest Bank is not only a set of rules established in the Code of Corporate Conduct and Ethics, but also its disclosure and reporting obligations, its transparency, and the equality of all participants in terms of not only rights, but also responsibilities: for their work, the work of colleagues, and management.

Center-invest Bank’s experience is a vivid example of the successful implementation of ESG banking even in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, and was included in the best practices of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) and the Principles for Responsible Banking (UNEP FI). In addition to ensuring the safety of its employees and customers, Center-invest has transformed its work in the new environment and introduced remote services and products to help small businesses develop online, providing them with preferential loans and free advice.

Since 1991, Euromoney magazine has presented awards annually to leaders in the field of banking, finance and investment in 70 countries.

Full article: https://www.euromoney.com/article/b1lzhf5x7twwy9/cee39s-best-bank-for-corporate-responsibility-2020-centerinvest-bank