The FINANCIAL -- The Association of Serbian Banks (ASB), an organization which gathers all banks operating in Serbia and the Belgrade Stock Exchange, joined the IFC-supported Sustainable Banking Network (SBN), a community of financial sector regulatory agencies and industry associations from emerging markets committed to advancing sustainable finance.
With this development, the Serbian financial sector made an important first step toward sustainability and improved management of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks. Good ESG practices are core to the sustainable, long-term success of companies and positive private sector development outcomes.
"ASB welcomes the opportunity to act in partnership with International Finance Corporation, SBN, and fellow SBN members to support the development of national frameworks and exchange of good practice in helping financial institutions manage environmental and social risks and opportunities. ASB is committed to national and regional progress in sustainable finance", said Vladimir Vasic, Secretary General of Association of Serbian Banks.
SBN's 41 member-countries represent US$43 trillion (86 percent) of the total banking assets in emerging markets. SBN members are transforming their financial sectors towards sustainability, with the twin goals of improved ESG risk management (including disclosure of climate risks) and increased capital flows to activities with positive climate impact. The network provides a critical platform for knowledge sharing and capacity building among SBN members to help facilitate the design and implementation of national sustainable finance initiatives.
"We are very pleased to see the ASB join the Sustainable Banking Network. The SBN will provide invaluable knowledge and experience-sharing that will help the Serbian banking sector better manage the risks linked to climate change and channel credit to the upcoming opportunities created by Serbia's green transition, supporting the jobs of the future", said Ary Naim, IFC Regional Manager for Central and Southeast Europe. "This is particularly relevant in the context of COVID-19 recovery".
ASB's joining to SBN was made possible by the Promoting Investment through Integrated ESG Standards Program, implemented by IFC in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO. One of Program's objectives is to improve financial sector efficiency through building sustainable financial markets that integrate ESG factors into capital allocation. It also encourages and facilitates participation in the SBN.