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Chairman of the Executive Board Addresses UN Sustainable Investment Forum

Center-invest Bank presented its unique experience of responsible finance at the Sustainable Investment Forum organised by the United Nations’ Climate Action programme. Lidia Simonova, Chairman of Center-invest Bank’s Executive Board, was the only Russian speaker at the international forum.

In 2020 the Sustainable Investment Forum was held online, bringing together financial market experts and over 5,000 participants from around the world. The main themes were: the philosophy of long-term sustainable capital management, approaches to asset allocation, and the outlook for global markets.

Lidia Simonova, Chairman of Center-invest Bank’s Executive Board, spoke at the Forum as an expert with sixteen years’ experience of implementing sustainability principles in banking corporate governance. As the first bank in Russia to issue green bank bonds and receive an ESG rating, Center-invest Bank’s experience is of interest to the global financial community.

In her speech to the Forum, Ms Simonova said, "Center-invest Bank’s Environmental and Social Policy initially set out basic environmental criteria for financing projects, as well as the ethical aspects of our corporate culture. This provided a basis for us to build on, applying ESG principles with regard to our customers, partners, shareholders and employees, and to the ecosystem as a whole. The first issue of green bonds was not only a key event for our bank, but a truly important milestone in the development of Russia’s financial system. With this successful bond issue, our team demonstrated that there is already a pool of responsible investors in Russia. Today the bank can share its experience, knowing that we are part of the international community that is using finance for good."

On 1 November 2019 Center-invest Bank became an official signatory to the Principles for Responsible Banking of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). This programme brings together over 200 participants from 45 countries. The Principles for Responsible Banking establish the role and responsibilities of the banking sector in building a sustainable future. Signatories commit to aligning their businesses with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Center-invest Bank is using the new business opportunities of the distance economy to pursue sustainable development in all the areas in which it operates. The bank is a positive example of a socially responsible business based on an ESG banking business model.