Bank of Singapore is first private bank to adopt the Singapore Stewardship Principles to reinforce commitment to sustainable investing practices

Singapore, 11 January 2023

Bank of Singapore today announced that it has become a signatory to the Singapore Stewardship Principles for Responsible Investors (the “Principles”). The Principles, developed by a 10-member steering committee with Stewardship Asia Centre as its Chair and Secretariat, provide guidance to financial institutions and investment firms on the responsible allocation, management and oversight of capital to create long-term value for clients and beneficiaries. These will help bring sustainable benefits for the economy, the environment and society.

Stewardship Asia Centre is a non-profit organisation established by Temasek to help business and government leaders, investors and individuals activate stewardship practices.

The adoption of the Principles reinforces Bank of Singapore’s ongoing push for sustainable investing. It is the first private bank in Singapore to be a signatory of the Principles.

The Principles were launched in November 2016 and was enhanced in March 2022 to take into account the growing focus on the impact of financial investments on the economy, society and the environment. Supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Singapore Exchange (SGX), the Principles currently have more than 70 signatories, including Bank of Singapore.

As a signatory to the Principles, Bank of Singapore commits to:

1. Develop and articulate stewardship responsibilities and governance structures.

2. Monitor investments regularly.

3. Stay active through constructive and purposeful engagement.

4. Uphold transparency in managing conflicts of interest.

5. Exercise rights and responsibilities on an informed basis.

6. Report stewardship activities periodically.

7. Take a collaborative approach in exercising stewardship responsibilities where appropriate.

Mr Rajeev Peshawaria, Stewardship Asia Centre’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “On behalf of the steering committee, SAC welcomes Bank of Singapore’s move to become a signatory to the Principles. As the first private bank to sign up to the Principles, we hope that its move will encourage more banks to commit to this framework that aims to enable a more sustainable and robust financial and investment environment for Singapore.”

Said Mr Alexandre Lotfi, Global Chief Risk Officer, Bank of Singapore, “We believe that responsible investment practices can have significant contribution to the development of a more sustainable financial system that benefits the wider community. As a private bank, we see ourselves as the long-term guardian of our clients’ wealth and are committed to the critical role that we play in being the conduit between the investee companies and investors, namely our clients, in ensuring that all entrusted assets benefit from high standards of governance while delivering sustainable performance and long-term value that is beneficial not only for our clients but also for the wider economy, environment and society.”

Bank of Singapore has stepped up in recent years to further the sustainability agenda with its clients.

Last year, Bank of Singapore entered into a strategic partnership with non-profit organisation, Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), to enable its clients to co-develop with CFS a comprehensive impact driven philanthropic strategy that meets their giving goals.

The Bank was also a co-chair of the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) taskforce that developed the Sustainable Private Banking and Wealth Management Guidelines to promote greater clarity and transparency among private bankers and their clients.

In 2021, Bank of Singapore was the first private bank in Asia to incorporate ESG factors in the assessment of the loan quantum for investment financing. With this inclusion, the quantum will be raised when the loan is secured by a mutual fund with AAA or AA ESG fund rating.

Note: Bank of Singapore does not conduct any fund-raising appeal for CFS.

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