|Citibank Korea CEO Yoo Myung-Soon, center, poses with the bank's ESG Council members at the bank's main branch in Seoul in this June file photo. Courtesy of Citibank Korea|
By Park Jae-hyuk
Citibank Korea is focusing more on providing its corporate clients with diverse services and products satisfying environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards, under its annual strategic goal of becoming the "Best ESG Bank," the U.S. bank's local subsidiary said Thursday.
Since the second half of last year, the bank has welcomed any Korean conglomerate executives in charge of financial affairs to communicate with Citi's global ESG experts through videoconferencing, giving large domestic companies a chance to study the best ESG practices and cope with the rapidly changing market environment.
In February, Citibank signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korea Trade Insurance Corp. to lend domestic companies money that can be used to help them export more materials, components and equipment, and to make inroads into future industries, renewable energy and environmental mobility in other countries.
Based on its global networks, the lender has also enabled domestic companies, financial institutions and government agencies to raise ESG-related overseas funds.
According to the bank, Citigroup raised over $25 billion to satisfy the needs of the sustainable financing of its Asia-Pacific clients. The amount was a 400 percent increase from a year earlier.
Of the $25 billion, Citibank Korea raised $8.1 billion, as it conducted 17 sustainable finance-related transactions in the Asia-Pacific ― the largest number in the region.
Regarding corporate governance, Citibank Korea appointed Yoo Myung-soon as the first female CEO in the nation's private banking industry. In addition, six among the bank's 14 executives are women.
Citibank Korea launched its 25-member ESG Council in June to raise awareness of ESG values and to provide ESG-related products and services tailored to the needs of customers.
The bank also emphasized that it is operating diverse social contribution programs to contribute to Korean society as a responsible corporate citizen.
For example, the bank signed a partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Korea under the title "Change Now for Tomorrow," to help prevent the global temperature from rising to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
It has also conducted in-house green campaigns for a more sustainable society, such as reduction in plastic consumption and use of tumblers.