China bank regulator unveils plan for more green loans

February 27, 2012

Chinese banks have been urged to use green credits as a tool to support the nation to cut carbon emissions while achieving a sustainable growth, according to China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).

A "green credit" guideline was introduced by the CBRC on Friday to help commercial lenders to facilitate economic restructuring in a manner that's environmentally friendly and saves energy.

The CBRC also ordered lenders to cut loans to industries with high-energy consumption and high levels of pollution or excessive capacity, and to strengthen financial support for green industries and projects.

Banks should "pay special attention" to environmental and social impacts possibly caused by their customers' projects and, based on assessment results, determine credit ratings and entry and exit terms, according to the CBRC guidelines of green credits.

The assessment covers areas ranging from energy consumption, pollution, land use, health, safety, relocation of residents, to ecological protection and climate change.

Comprehensive evaluations should be conducted every two years, and banks should deliver reports to regulatory bodies, according to the guidelines.

Meanwhile, financial institutions should clarify supported directions and areas for green credit and implement differentiated credit policies, the guidelines say.