CBA and Northern Trust complete A$50mn green repo

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and Northern Trust recently completed a A$50 million transaction using a new Green Repurchase Agreement (Green Repo) as certified by the Climate Bond Initiative (CBI). It provides an additional source of funding available to finance or refinance green-labelled assets such as energy efficient buildings, solar farms, low carbon transport projects or green mortgages. By increasing the funding pool for green finance projects, the certified Green Repo will help advance the global transition to a low-emissions economy.

“Building efficient, smart, green infrastructure is critical to creating the economy of tomorrow and advancing Australia’s transition journey. Innovative financial products have a key role to play in this journey, allowing more capital to be directed to the assets that will drive the transition. This Green Repo is one such product, and we are very proud to have been able to partner with Northern Trust in executing it,” said Andrew Hinchliff, group executive for Institutional Banking and Markets at CBA, in a statement.

“As a global investment manager and corporate citizen, we not only have an opportunity but a responsibility to contribute to a healthy long-term environment,” said Leon Stavrou, country executive of Northern Trust in Australia and New Zealand. “As the first of its kind in Australia, participation in the Green Repo product launch reinforces Northern Trust’s commitment to sustainable investing and innovation.”

Much like a traditional repurchase agreement, the certified Green Repo is an agreement between the bank and an institutional client to exchange general collateral for cash and to reverse those flows at a later date at an agreed price. The cash raised under the certified Green Repo is allocated strictly toward financing the bank’s portfolio of green loans. The Green Repo has a tenure of 1 to 12 months and was certified by CBI, a not-for-profit organisation which aims to promote large-scale investment to deliver a global low-carbon economy.

Sean Kidney, CEO of CBI, said in a statement: “This latest transaction is embedding international best practice on standards in a new green product, a combination increasingly being sought after by institutional investors. It opens another positive pathway for increasing capital flows into low carbon activities and transition solutions in the real economy.”

The certified Green Repo further diversifies the sources of funding available to support CBA’s portfolio of green loans, raising the bank’s capacity to support additional green transactions and progress Australia’s transition.

“The massive global capital flows seeking to support the creation of green and sustainable infrastructure are fostering some of the most exciting financial innovation that markets have seen in years. We’re proud to be at the forefront of this trend by bringing certified Green Repos to the market,” said Chris McLachlan, acting executive general manager in Global Markets at CBA, in a statement. “Investor demand for sustainable finance is growing rapidly, and there is huge interest in financial products that cater to the needs of institutional investors while also helping drive real-world change.”

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