9 Philippine banks criticized for lack of progress in environmental protection

The Withdraw from Coal Campaign (WCC) has called out nine Philippine banks for failing to take adequate steps to protect the environment.

According to the 2023 Fossil Fuel Divestment Scorecard released by WCC, these banks have not improved their sustainability policies since 2020. The banks in question include Jacinto Ng’s Asia United Bank, San Miguel Corp.’s banking unit Bank of Commerce, China Banking Corp. of the Sy family, Gotianun-led East West Bank, Ty family’s Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Lucio Co’s Philippine Bank of Communication, Philippine National Bank of Lucio Tan, Gokongwei-led Robinsons Bank, and the Aboitiz family’s Union Bank of the Philippines.

WCC expressed disappointment in these banks, saying that “they have made no notable movement away from coal financing and investments, more so from fossil gas financing. Through their inaction, these banks send out signals that they fail to acknowledge the urgency of ending fuel proliferation.”

These banks’ lack of action is particularly concerning, as they have not taken significant steps to stop funding or investing in coal and gas projects. WCC believes that this shows that the banks do not fully comprehend the importance of ending the use of harmful fuels.

WCC also noted that AUB, BOC, China Bank, PBCom, and Robinsons Bank have not done much to limit global warming or influence the companies they lend money to towards this goal.

“These banks should have responded to the crisis facing humanity – one that especially places all Filipinos vulnerable to super typhoons, unprecedented flash floods, and exorbitant electricity prices,” added WCC.

WCC’s 2023 Fossil Fuel Divestment Scorecard evaluated 15 Philippine banks, with the Ayala-led Bank of Philippine Islands receiving the dubious distinction of the ‘dirtiest’ bank for the fourth consecutive year due to its significant exposure to coal and coal projects.

BSP to allow pre-termination of peso NDFs

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