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Promoting sustainable finance

We demonstrated a resilient performance during the year despite the global economic enviornment. Our focus on the basics of banking shapes and informs the framework and strategy that we adopt in our approach to sustainable finance. It also presents us with a competitive advantage in the following ways:

  1. Maintaining good credit quality - Our 13 position statements and the continued implementation of the Equator Principles oversee the environmental, social and governance risks associated with our financing activities. Our clients' ability to repay is contingent upon acquiring community support for infrastructure projects, managing scarce water resouces and cutting the carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. We continually deepen our relationships with our clients to encourage progress towards cleaner, resource efficient and responsible ways of doing business.
  2. Upholding cost discipline - We continue to invest in developing the knowledge and skills of our employees across Wholesale Banking and the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) teams in managing environmental, social and governance risks in their financing decisions.
  3. Strengthening our balance sheet - We draw upon our strong liquidity and well capitalised position, as well as our diversified geography and industry presence, to provide capital to facilitate a transfer of technology and expertise from developed countries into the emerging markets in our footprint, and to facilitate a shift to a low-carbon economy in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

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Annual Report and Accounts 2009