Bank of Communications

RATING

SECTOR

Banking

WEBSITE

CONTACT

188 Yinchengzhong Road
200120
Shanghai, China

Tel: 0044-(0)20-76147600 (London Head Office)
Fax: 0044-(0)20-76147602 (London Head Office)
E-mail: admin@uk.bankcomm.com (London Head Office)

STOCK EXCHANGE

LISTING

The bank does not disclose this information.

EMPLOYEES

87,828

CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

No CSO or equivalent mentioned or found.

AWARDS

  • GoldenBee Leading Enterprise Award 2020 with an excellent CSR Report”
  • CBA: Best Green Finance Achievement Award
  • People’s CSR Awards – Poverty Alleviation Award of the Year, Case of the Year
  • Xinhuanet: Outstanding CSR Enterprise Award 2020, Excellent Case Award
  • CBN: China CSR Rankings: Best Public Interest Practice Award
  • “Outstanding Organization for Overall Green Banking Performance of 2019”.

CONTENT SOURCE

FURTHER READING

Report created by Sonria Willis

Bank of Communications

SECTIONS :  Sustainability Targets  Evaluation  •  Key Points  •  Overview

Company Activity

Founded in 1908, The Bank of Communications (BoCom) is one of the longest note-issuing banks in modern China. After restructuring, BoCom officially reopened in 1987, becoming the first state-owned joint-stock commercial bank in China, with its Head Office located in Shanghai. 

The Bank of Communications is amongst the top 5 leading commercial banks in China and has an extensive network of over 2,800 branches covering over 80 major cities. Apart from Hong Kong, the Bank has also established overseas branches in New York, Tokyo, Singapore and representative offices in London and Frankfurt. As of the end of 2002, the Bank had over 88,000 employees and a total asset reaching RMB 5.15 trillion.

BoCom provides customers with corporate banking, personal banking, interbank and financial market businesses. In addition, the Group is also involved in businesses such as funding, trust banking, financial leasing, insurance, overseas securities, debt-to-equity conversion and asset management.

The Bank was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in June 2005 and on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in May 2007.

Company Sustainability Activity

The bank emphasized in its 2020 CSR report that it is “continuously deepening research on the impact of climate change on its sustainable development, identifying potential risks and seizing development opportunities”.

The Bank of Communications states it is conducting unified management of relevant topics by integrating them with the ESG governance architecture. Accordingly, the Social Responsibility (ESG) and Consumer Protection Committee of the Board of Directors will periodically hold in-depth discussions on environmental risks and climate change issues, guiding and supervising ways in which finance can help to combat climate change. 

The group states it has strictly followed the policies and guidelines issued by regulators at all levels, actively responded to reaching CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060, and continued to improve policy documents such as the Outline of 2020 Credit and Risk Policies of Bank of Communications. 

The Bank states it has carried out a comprehensive assessment of its suppliers’ sustainability practices. For example, the Bank gave bonus points to suppliers using green materials in the bid grading; and placed suppliers with adverse social effects such as environmental damage, breach of contract lawsuits, forced labor, and child labor on the “list of banned suppliers”. 

The Bank of Communications required suppliers to provide ISO 9001 quality certificates and ISO 14001 environment certificates.

The Bank has introduced green financial bonds to support areas of environmental protection & energy conservation, pollution control, resource saving & recycling, clean transport, and clean energy, boosting the green and low carbon transformation and upgrading of industries.

 

Highlights

  • Supporting the Construction of “Countryside Complexes” and New Countryside to Promote Urbanization
  • Signed a bank-enterprise strategic cooperation agreement with 10 key leaders in agriculture industrialization to deepen its cooperation with leading players and assist in rural revitalization
  • Poverty alleviation funds from BoCom: RMB 24.88 million (3.61% growth rate)
  • During the Reporting Period, 128 online courses were held on green credit with more than 153,000 people completing the courses
  • Branch’s balance of green loans stood at RMB 20.644 billion, an increase of RMB 4.211 billion, or 25.62% from the beginning of the year
  • Green Credit Supporting the Construction of the 2022 Winter Olympics Renewable Energy Resources Demonstration Area in Beijing
  • Agreed to contribute 8 billion yuan to the National Green Development Fund to finance climate-friendly projects along the Yangtze River

Targets

  • Support quality industrial projects in the field of new energy, and continue to adjust and optimize the asset structure in traditional energy fields such as coal and thermal power, assisting the country to improve its areas of weakness in infrastructure
  • Include environmental and social risks into the project evaluation & review and contract approval process
  • Closely track external information such as environment and production safety accidents
  • Improve the accuracy of green credit classification identification
  • Adopt timely measures against enterprises that fail to meet environmental protection emission standards or that severely pollute the environment
  • Follow through with the requirements specified in documents such as the Green Credit Performance Evaluation Plan of Banking Deposit Financial Institutions 
  • Cooperate with business entities that have advantages in meeting environmental protection and production safety standards
  • Accelerate withdrawal or reduce shares from companies that lack resource advantages or do not meet environmental protection or agricultural product safety standards
  • Provide major support to environmental monitoring subdivisions that possess clear policy support, explicit management and control standards
  • Give moderate support to industrial energy conservation segments
  • Give moderate support to energy conservation service providers set up by large industrial energy conservation equipment manufacturers, and energy conservation service providers affiliated to large corporate groups or public service institutions
  • Give moderate support to energy conservation service providers that are able to provide comprehensive services to existing projects that meet the set targets for annual energy conservation
  • Be cautious about sub-industries such as ferrous metal mining, dressing of common nonferrous metals in mining and dressing of black metal and nonferrous metals, and gravel exploration in non-metal mining and dressing
  • Speed up withdrawal from companies whose main production installations do not comply with relevant national industrial policies
  • Speed up withdrawal from companies with relatively unstable oil supply, unstable sales in the long run, weakening financial conditions, and uncertain prospects
  • Speed up withdrawal from oil and natural gas extraction companies that do not comply with the Policy on the Pollution Prevention and Control Technologies for Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction Industry and oil refining companies that do not comply with the Emission Standard of Pollutants for Petroleum Refining Industry

Progress

The bank does not disclose this information.

Certificates

The bank does not disclose this information.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance

SDG 1: No Poverty

  • Contributed RMB 33.489 billion in outstanding loans for targeted poverty alleviation
  • Bought and helped sell RMB 26.24 million worth of agricultural products from poor areas 

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

  • Donated money and materials totaling RMB 29.38 million to Hubei during the pandemic
  • Allocated RMB 7.2 million in special pandemic control funds
  • Granted RMB 400 billion in pandemic-related loans

SDG 4: Quality Education

  • Invested RMB 11.621 million in compulsory education

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

  • Comprehensively investigated the financing needs of pandemic control-related enterprises, as well as micro, small and middle-sized enterprises
  • The Bank issued guidance documents such as the Opinions on Further Strengthening Financial Services for Micro and Small Enterprise

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

  • BoCom Qingdao Branch Supported the ‘NEV Charging Pile Project to Accelerate Transformation and Upgrading of Green Transportation’

SDG 13: Climate Action

  • Outstanding green loans recorded RMB 387.28 billion
 

Evaluation

The Bank of Communications states that they are committed to the UN SDGs; however their objectives are more aligned with economic growth rather than sustainable development. Moreover, most of their initiatives involved funding external projects — clearly lacking information about their internal operations and how they are meant to improve sustainability in their own operations.

While the Bank of Communications has an exhaustive list of targets for improving sustainability practices, these targets are not numerical and therefore not measurable. No explicit progress has been reported for its targets. 

The Bank of Communications holds several awards; however, none of them are internationally renowned. The group does not hold any notable certificates and has not made any sustainability-related listings.

Despite its minimal sustainability initiatives, the Bank of Communications has invested a total of $23.750 B in the fossil fuel industry. Furthermore, the bank has steadily increased its investments since 2017.

Therefore the Bank of Communication has been rated a D.

Analyst Outlook: Neutral

The bank is partnered with numerous outside organizations to support community development and has outlined targets to improve its sustainability practices. However, no internal progress has been reported; and thus, there is no reason for this report to have a positive outlook for the Bank of Communications.

 

Key Points

  • The bank donates to outside organisations to support their community, but they could do more in focusing on improving the sustainability within their company 
  • They align their own work with the UN SDGs, however they are disproportionately focused on the economic side of sustainability
  • They have extensive targets, but they aren’t numerical so it is therefore difficult to hold themselves accountable 
  • The bank lacks credibility through relevant listings, awards and certificates
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