|Vu Thi Hai Phuong, deputy chairwoman of MB's Board of Directors, received the award at the event
Amid the global shift towards sustainable development, the green concept has emerged as a key strategic trend, spanning from agriculture to the broader economy. The Annual Forum AF6, hosted by VIOD, stands as a premier event, offering a platform for entrepreneurs and corporate leaders to exchange and share insights.
The accolade underscores MB's strategic vision in navigating the complexities of green finance.
The theme for this year's forum focused on the intersection of environmental sustainability and corporate management.
Specifically, MB outshone over 500 boards from listed Vietnamese companies, owing to its strategic foresight and execution capabilities in this realm.
The award ceremony, a highlight of VIOD's 6th Annual Corporate Governance Conference, was jointly organised with VIR and took place in Hanoi on November 22, 2023.
Pham Nhu Anh, CEO of MB, shared insights into how businesses could bridge the gap to green credit, emphasising the need for inclusive strategies that cater to both green and non-green sectors.
Underlining MB's pioneering efforts, Anh elaborated on their response to the Vietnamese government's green banking initiative.
"Our 'Key Action Program 2023' is tailored to foster a green transformation across various industries, from green energy to sustainable agriculture and industry," Anh said.
He also emphasised the bank's rigorous green credit criteria and risk management frameworks, pivotal in driving this transformation.
Anh also disclosed that 90 per cent of MB's funding is now funnelled into renewable energy and clean energy projects, illustrating a significant shift in their investment strategy.
"We are not just financing a sector; we are investing in our planet's future," he said.
Addressing the challenges of green transition in a volatile market, Anh said, "It is precisely in challenging times that companies must look inward, adapt, and align with the green trend. It's a strategic imperative, not just a market trend."
By September 30, 2023, MB's green loan balance reached a substantial VND55 trillion (approximately $2.32 billion), serving 3,759 clients and constituting 11 per cent of the bank’s total loans.
Notably, the rate of non-performing loans in this segment stands at a mere 0.8 per cent, a figure that is impressively below the general safe limit of 3 per cent. This statistic not only reflects MB's success in implementing its green finance strategy but also demonstrates that investments in sustainable sectors can yield considerable economic benefits.
Speaking on this achievement, Anh said, "These figures are a clear indication of our commitment to not just financial growth, but growth with responsibility towards the environment. Our green loan portfolio is a testament to the fact that sustainable investment is not just ethically right but also economically sound."
Advocating for enhanced green credit access
In a detailed proposition to advance green financing, Anh also outlined several recommendations aimed at easing the banking sector's access to green credit.
Central to these recommendations is a call to the State Bank of Vietnam and other regulatory authorities to accelerate the refinement of the legal framework governing green banking.
"This includes the establishment of definitive green classification criteria to guide institutions in environmentally sustainable lending practices," said Anh. "The objective is to facilitate credit institutions' adoption of international standards in green project financing while ensuring alignment with best practices."
MB's advocacy extends to suggesting an expansion of the annual credit allocation, particularly focusing on enhancing credit growth metrics for banks with a substantial stake in green finance. This initiative is designed to encourage financial institutions to transition their credit portfolios towards more sustainable and eco-friendly financing models.
Anh also highlighted the strategic importance of these reforms, "Integrating sustainability into the financial fabric requires not just commitment but also enabling regulatory environments. By aligning Vietnam's banking practices with global green finance standards, we can steer the sector towards a more sustainable and economically sound future."
This push by MB for regulatory enhancements and broader access to green credit is indicative of a growing trend in the banking sector, recognising the necessity of sustainable finance as a key driver for long-term economic growth and environmental stewardship.
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