At a time when we are tackling the economic repercussions of the war and partly also of the pandemic, responsible risk management is of fundamental importance on the one hand while, on the other, it is essential to rise to completely new challenges such as the inflow of 3 million refugees to Poland from neighbouring Ukraine or the changes occurring on the energy market.
The economic pressure that the war exerts on us, and the ensuing inflation driven by it, as well as the threat of an economic downturn makes risk management in banks a more relevant issue than ever before. In this regard, at Bank Pekao we do not see any alarming signals, but we are well aware that the geopolitical situation might change rapidly. We are trying to respond to these challenges with responsible risk management. Bank Pekao is a leader in this respect as it has record-breaking low risk costs, a very high ROE, a stable equity ratio, and an excellent Tier 1 ratio. For our clients, we are a safe and stable institution in these turbulent times.
We are also reacting to the current needs of millions of refugees from Ukraine, offering them immediate assistance as well as satisfying their practical needs by e.g. opening free bank accounts and preparing a special offer of banking services for Ukrainian citizens. We have also developed a special offer for Ukrainian companies that can now open their business bank accounts at Bank Pekao, process bank transfers without fees, and avail themselves of free cash and online services.
The inflow of refugees is just one of the effects of the war that the Polish economy must address. In light of the Russian invasion, the issue of our national energy security is of key importance. The direction of energy supplies must undergo a drastic change. The current situation highlights the necessity for Bank Pekao to implement an ambitious strategy in terms of investments in renewable energy sources, low-emission public transport, and waste management systems.
In its ESG strategy, Bank Pekao assumed that in just 4 years, between 2021 and 2024, it would arrange “green financing” for new projects for a minimum of PLN 30 billion. This figure includes at least PLN 8 billion in new financing for sustainable projects and support for the issue of ESG bonds for the bank’s clients worth at least PLN 22 billion.
According to our plan, we will become involved in the largest such venture in Poland to date. Only recently did we allocate more than PLN 250 million for the development of the largest photovoltaic farm in Poland. Last month, we concluded an agreement for the financing of 140 smaller farms. Earlier, Bank Pekao granted financing for, among others, the development of the largest nuclear wind farm in Poland and co-organised the first ever Polish issue of green bonds by a local government (Łódź). ©℗
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