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Sunday, July 21, 2024

SeABank accompanies community towards sustainability

By Tran Hung

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In recent years, sustainable development has emerged as an inevitable trend on the global financial market as investors and relevant stakeholders become increasingly aware of the impacts of their investments on the environment and society. As intermediary institutions supplying capital for the economy, banks have found themselves in a strong position to promote the adoption of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices in particular and sustainability in general, benefiting themselves, the community and the economy.

Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank, or SeABank, has over the years actively advocating for such a trend.

Green financing

SeABank has been pursuing sustainable development associated with social responsibility, offering green products and services for its clients, and prioritizing funds for green projects. The bank has formulated ESG criteria for its own performance, based on which SeABank set out sustainability goals and strategies.

Specifically, when receiving green funds amounting to hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars from international financial institutions, the bank has managed to expand its market share for projects with social impacts like small- and medium-sized enterprises, women-led enterprises, and especially green projects.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) signs a deal providing funds for SeABank

The bank said it prioritizes credit for green projects and projects to mitigate climate change impacts, as well as to provide loans for individuals buying homes at green apartment buildings.

To minimize social and environmental impacts from its lending activity, SeABank has managed to integrate environmental and social criteria into its credit risk management processes. The bank has issued a list of hazardous areas, and any projects falling into the list will not be given credit from the bank. Even transactions outside the list will be further screened by SeABank in terms of their possible impacts on society and the environment, and borrowers will be proposed measures to avert risks.

“SeABank seeks to become a pioneer in managing risks to the environment and society and spread this spirit to all its clients and partners,” said a representative of the bank.

Promoting community values

Apart from the greening mindset in its professional banking performance, SeABank has also actively responded to the Government’s greening program to plant one billion trees in the 2021-2025 period. Specifically, the bank has donated nearly 300,000 trees for planting in several provinces like Thanh Hoa, Dak Lak, Ha Tinh and Long An.

The bank has also steadfastly pursued its corporate social responsibility strategy to bring about sustainable values for the community.

Take the “Day of Love 7/9” program, for example. The bank has annually organized this charity program on September 7 to take care of and support underprivileged people in numerous provinces and cities across the country. On the occasion last year, volunteers from the bank, dubbed SeABankers, visited orphanages and shelters for homeless children and people in 12 provinces and cities to donate VND600 million worth of gifts including bicycles and schooling equipment. The bank ad its employees also donated lunches for 69 students in Lai Chau Province’s Muong Te District for one year, built a bridge in a remote area, and provided scholarships.

The “Day of Love 7/9” program is just one among several community programs organized annually by the bank, under which gifts worth billions of Vietnam dong are given to underprivileged people.

The bank has also maintained other long-term CSR programs like scholarships for students and housing for poor people.

In 2015 SeABank launched its scholarship fund Uom Mam Uoc Mo, targeting high-school students from difficult family backgrounds. Beneficiaries are given VND12 million a year until they graduate from senior high schools, and to date, the bank has donated scholarships to 200 students with a total value of over VND10.5 billion.

The bank has also worked with provincial authorities to build gratitude houses for policy people in difficulty, and to date, 700 houses have been handed over to the poor in several provinces like Ha Tinh, Nghe An and Dien Bien.

“The year 2024 marks the 30-year journey of SeABank, and we will ceaselessly make efforts to contribute to the country’s economic development and bring about values for the community and society… towards sustainable development,” said the bank’s representative.

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