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Singapore’s DBS Bank to exit thermal coal financing market by 2039

April 16, 2021

The Straits Times:

DBS Bank will phase out thermal coal exposure by 2039, making it the first Singapore bank to cease financing in this area.

Singapore’s largest bank announced on Friday (April 16) that it will stop taking on new customers who derive more than a quarter of their revenue from thermal coal with immediate effect. From January 2026, DBS will also stop financing customers who derive more than half of their revenue from thermal coal, except for their non-thermal coal or renewable energy activities.

Both thresholds will be lowered with time, the bank said. It will also disclose its thermal coal exposure in its annual sustainability report to provide transparency on progress made.

DBS’ pledge comes as financial institutions across the globe face growing pressure from shareholders and lobby groups to avoid investments in the fuel.

According to DBS’ sustainability report in 2020, exposure to thermal coal mining and coal-fired power plants at the end of 2019 were $1.17 billion and $1.63 billion respectively, representing 0.24 per cent and 0.33 per cent of total exposure for its institutional banking group.

At the same time, its exposure to renewable energy projects increased to $4.2 billion last year, from $2.85 billion in 2019, the bank said on Friday.

[Kelly Ng]

More: DBS to exit thermal coal lending by 2039

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