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In an Australian first, Teachers Mutual Bank’s $500 million Debt Issuance Program has been certified ethical by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA).
The RIAA certification, the first of its kind in Australia, is in recognition of Teachers Mutual Bank’s policy exclusion in its wholesale cash product that prohibits utilising funds raised in lending to, or investing in, large scale greenhouse gas polluting activities (from fossil fuel exploration, extraction, production and use).
“We pride ourselves on being a sustainable business leader and are thrilled to be the first financial institution to offer a responsible investment wholesale cash product to the market” said Steve James, CEO of Teachers Mutual Bank.
“With a shift in consumer sentiment leading to more Australians calling for action on climate change, there has been an increase in demand for ethical investment options.”
The ethical certification not only aligns with Teachers Mutual Bank’s sustainability principles but will allow the bank to attract a wider range of investors, diversifying and strengthening its funding base.
Teachers Mutual Bank has received a number of accolades for its sustainability program and wants to demonstrate to the finance industry and Australian consumers alike, that profitability and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.
“Banks in general tend to be large investors in the fossil fuel sector, so becoming the first certified responsible bank on these grounds is a significant achievement,” said Steve James.
Each individual issuance of Notes issued under the Debt Issuance Program will be certified. Teachers Mutual Bank is planning an additional issuance later in the year.
“With the surging interest in ethical and responsible investment, we're very pleased to welcome Teachers Mutual Bank to our Certification Program, having met the high standards of disclosure and verification,” said Simon O’Connor, CEO of RIAA.
“It's pleasing to see the broadening and maturing of the responsible investment sector coming to market across all asset classes.”
“The Teachers Mutual Bank Certified $500 million Debt Issuance Program will allow wholesale investors to be assured that they can extend their fossil free commitment to their cash investments,” said Simon O’Connor.
Teachers Mutual Bank, the former Teachers Credit Union, launched on 2 April 2012 and is the leading Australian bank servicing the education sector. One of the largest mutual banks in Australia, it has over 173,000 members, and more than $5 billion in assets.
The Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) is the peak industry body representing responsible and ethical investors across Australia and New Zealand. It has over 150 members who manage more than $500 billion in assets under management.
The Certification Program is managed by the RIAA. To be certified, an organisation or individual must meet the strict disclosure practices required in each licence category. This is the world’s first and only Certification Program for responsible investment products, services and policies. The Responsible Investment Certification Program (RICP), and the Certification Symbol form the most comprehensive market initiative for responsible investment in Australasia to date.