Postal Savings Bank of China
No. 3 Jinrong Street
- 7th largest commercial by bank in China
- 36th in operating income by Fortune China (2019)
- 22nd on World Bank’s Top 100 (tier 1 capital 2019)
CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER
No sustainability representatives or departments.
- Bank Technology Development Award by People’s Bank of China (2019 and 2020)
- Best Foreign Currency Trading Member by China Foreign Exchange Trade System (2020)
- Excellent Money Market Dealer by National Interbank Funding Centre (2020)
- “Exemplary Institution for Green Banking in Terms of Overall Performance” by China Banking Association consecutively (2020)
- Best Achievements in Inclusive Finance by China Banking Association
Report created by Aastha Srivastava
Postal Savings Bank of China
Formed in 2007, Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC) is a commercial retail bank, owned by China Post. The central office is situated in Beijing. PSBC provides services in personal banking, corporate banking and treasury.
PSBC provides financial services to around 600 million personal customers.
PSBC follows a mission statement of ‘To deliver accessible financial services to both urban and rural areas.’
PSBC aims to develop their reputation as a trustworthy and safe bank while also taking the steps to achieve this.
PSBC prides itself on providing valuable contributions to its customers, leading sustainability initiatives and bettering the workspace for their employees.
Company Sustainability Activity
PSBC seeks to continue paying attention to global climate governance. Pursuing and promoting sectors in green finance, climate financing and ESG, PSBC seeks to continue and reach a role of being an environmentally-friendly, safe and large bank.
In relation to their general corporate goals, PSBC also makes notes of values and beliefs relevant to sustainable growth in their recent CSR report, these being:
- Create value for customers
- Integrity is the foundation of development
- Prudence leads to sustainability
- Employees are our greatest asset
- Excellence comes through professionalism
- Embrace change and always innovate
PSBC has also been paying closer attention to their corporate green loans, of which they account for 13.73% of the bank’s unspecific and general corporate loans.
- Fully supported the fight against COVID-19 and delivered solid services for ensuring stability on six key fronts and maintaining security in six key areas
- Fight poverty and promote rural revitalization
- Implemented national strategies to promote economic transformation and upgrading
- Upheld the green development concept and contributed to ecological conservation
- Continued to pursue innovation-driven development and enhanced the empowering role of FinTech
PSBC has increased their balance of green loans (in RMB per 100million)
PSBC has increased their balance of green credit (in RMB per 100million)
PSBC has decreased their total water consumption in the head office (by tonnes)
Postal Savings Bank of China does not have any sustainability-related certificates.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
UN SDGs Compliance
PSBC, nor their parent company China Post, clearly aligns with specific Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, the Impakter Index team aligns current company-wide sustainability initiatives with the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the following section.
PSBC claims that its work towards a sustainable future is guided by the Sustainable Development Goals, and yet does not specify how their work aligns with any particular SDG.PSBC discusses how their operations align with the Paris Climate Agreement and again, like with the SDGs they do not go into any further detail into how they have formed this means of working.
SDG 1: No Poverty
- Without ever specifying, the work of PSBC is somewhat aligned with the first SDG, discussing the impact of their poverty alleviation methods and how this is achieved through the opening of PSBC banks in rural areas of China.
- PSBC’s poverty alleviation loans have increased since 2019 to RMB82,456 million, representing an increase of RMB21,259 million from the previous year.
- PSBC does not delve into further detail.
SDG 15: Life on Land
- PSBC noted their National Agricultural Credit Guarantee System, which was formed to increase agricultural modernisation throughout China. With the balance of the Bank’s agriculture-related loans standing at RMB1.41 trillion ( ~ £157 billion).
Throughout their corporate social responsibility report, and other documents, PSBC does not often make use of narrow and specified facts and examples. Their adoption of vague and unspecified statements could be interpreted as avoiding accountability as without specific figures to hit there is less pressure on the bank to do so or be held accountable for not doing so.
Through our own analysis, PSBC makes indirect references to SDG 1 and SDG 15 but does not address these in terms of alignment with the UN.
To articulate the process that the bank has made, PSBC sponsored the publishing of an article that gives vague statements that express that the bank has grown and become successful in recent years. This itself is worrying in terms of accuracy and transparency with regards to PSBC’s actual progress and advancements. This method somewhat contrasts the use of third-party evaluations since the writing and publishing of this article acknowledges that it was funded by PSBC. Calling into question the validity of these statements as naturally PSBC will want to appear to be as successful as possible, regardless of the fact that it may cause an ethical conundrum.
In terms of targets, PSBC does not lay out any clear sustainability targets or targets that are relevant to the sustainable growth of the bank itself.
Additionally, despite their claims and increased use of green loans, PSBC was under investigation for dodgy loans to fund mining operations in Indonesia. Exhibiting their ties and alignments with unsustainable projects, attempting to hide these behind performative actions.
Without sustainable partnerships, set targets, certificates and clarity PSBC’s statements on sustainability hold little value. Moreover, PSBC’s continued funding of fossil fuel mining highlights its growing relationship with unsustainable practices that increase the threat of the climate crisis.
Postal Savings Bank has invested $7.929 B in the fossil fuel industry since the adoption of the Paris Agreement.
As such, this company has been rated a D.
Analyst Outlook: Neutral
PSBC makes indirect reference to two SDGs and attempts to be thorough on its relationship with alleviating poverty but does not go beyond the minimum requirements of SDG referencing and barely touches on any other sustainability guidelines and partnerships. Additionally, PSBC does not hold a single green certificate to its name. Having said that, PSBC has been attempting to champion green bonds and where applicable, has been making progress in terms of numerical targets.