Our or more of the EES risks

Our view on sustainability posits a robust financial system and
processes, which take into consideration various EES risks to not only
future-proof our business, but to make banking with us an assurance of a better
future for all our stakeholders. For instance, in 2017, we started thinking
more deeply on various physical and transition risks associated with Climate
Change, and how we can improve our credit risks and investment strategies. One
of the ways this can be achieved is by developing green performance indicators
to guide our future lending and investment decisions.

As a leading financial services provider, we are motivated by our
role to enhance access to and knowledge of financial solutions, helping
businesses and communities to prosper. And we believe in our our ability,
resources and commitment to such sustainable development, with reinforced
commitment year after year.

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But with ‘growth’ comes great ‘responsibility’. Our growing
business aspirations in the ASEAN +7 countries continue to increase our
responsibility to meaningfully contribute to improving the social fabric of the
society; catalysing economic progress; and demonstrating environmental
stewardship – all through financial inclusion strategies and approaches.

Over the last 10 years, we
have implemented 962 initiatives under the CIMB Foundation, with an investment
of RM120million towards improving the lives of over 700,000 people in the
ASEAN. From education to community well-being; from social integration to
financial inclusion; from workplace diversity to green citizenship, we have
been able to invest in mitigating issues that impede socio-economic progress of
markets where we operate.

 

In 2017, we decided to pledge our participation in the UN Global
Compact’s Local Network in Malaysia to align our business practices and CSR
strategies with UN Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. Each of these goals
are related to one or more of the EES risks or opportunities, which in turn
help create long-term value for our stakeholders. So going forward, our
corporate citizenship initiatives, by design, will not only deliver for local
impact – by way of improving access to finance; improving quality of life;
promoting learning; and contributing to the welfare and well-being of
communities –  but will also contribute
to global SDGs.

Meanwhile, during the year
under review, we looked at financial inclusion as the main theme, with focus on
introducing innovative banking channels (traditional and digital) for wider
reach; microfinancing and micro saving products; green financing opportunities;
access to finance for SMEs, Bumiputra and other minority and disadvantaged
communities; improved staff and supplier welfare policies and programmes; and A
Better CIMB (ABC) culture, which is also about ‘responsible’ behaviour or
corporate citizenship. To deliver maximum impact, we looked at our people,
products and processes and their individual roles for implementing our sustainability
programmes and initiatives, efficiently and effectively.

 

Overall, in 2017:

Our innovative banking and digital distribution channels have
significantly improved access to financial solutions as well as enhanced
financial knowledge of local communities, including the under-served
entrepreneurs (SMEs, Micro-enterprises, Rural businesses) and disadvantaged
youth. 

Our new internal people-development policies and initiatives have
instilled a sense of responsibility amongst our diverse workforce, increased
their productivity and participation, and most importantly, provided equal
opportunities for learning and growth.  Our regional partnerships for business helped tap opportunities
for sustainable financing, especially in the areas such as renewable energy
etc., also supporting the National sustainability and green agendas. We also
looked at supporting various environmental conservation efforts in partnership
with lead NGOs and credible green activists. In 2017, we pledged to commit one percent of our Profit before Tax
(PBT) annually towards our sustainability agenda. The first allocation will be
from 2017 PBT towards the Foundation’s 2018 activities. This in itself is a
testimony to our growing commitment to devise a value-creation and partnership
strategy for delivering social, economic and environmental impact. We also initiated discussions to
institutionalise our future sustainable banking principles to support our EES
targets and aspirations.

I take this opportunity to acknowledge the role of our
Board Members from our respective operating markets, Trustees of CIMB
Foundation, senior management of CIMB and #teamCIMB in building resilient
communities, protecting the environment and helping improve the financial
landscape. I also thank the Chairman and CEO of CIMB Foundation, who have

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