November 26, 2022

The Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) intends to raise 10 billion pesos for various green projects through a product the lender believes even college students can afford.

In a briefing last Tuesday, BPI’s Carmina Martinez said their new “green” term deposit product costs just P5,000 ($87.22 at current exchange rates), which “most Filipinos can afford”. It is “an environmentally friendly fixed deposit account with a higher rate of interest” that ensures investors a reasonable return.

The country’s third-largest lender by assets said the proceeds from the facility will be used for: projects to improve energy efficiency and reduce electricity consumption; the production of renewable energy; and the planning, design and construction of “green” buildings.

“BPI notes the growing attention to sustainable investing and interest in environmental, social and governance efforts,” said Maria Cristina L. Go, BPI’s head of consumer banking. “This green deposit solution offers Filipinos the opportunity to live a more sustainable lifestyle and contribute to sustainability by investing their funds in projects that help achieve a better future for all.”

BPI said that an investment of P5,000 to less than P50,000 would have a benchmark interest rate of 4 percent, while an investment of P50,000 to less than P5 million would have an interest rate of 4.25 percent.

For those who have more funds to invest, they can choose to place P5 million or more, which includes an interest rate of 4.5 percent per annum.

The interest income is credited monthly to a clearing account or paid out at the end of the five-year term. A penalty fee would be charged for investments withdrawn before the end of the five-year term.

Energy efficiency projects eligible for funding through BPI’s Sustainable Funding Framework include switching to inverter air conditioners; LED lights; cooling systems; and high-performance engines.

Renewable energy projects include solar power plants; hydroelectric power plants; and onshore or offshore wind energy projects.

BPI said it is taking guidance from the central bank’s Sustainable Finance Framework as it moves closer to its goal of becoming the best sustainable bank in the Philippines.

The lender said the launch of Green Saver Time Deposit demonstrates its “strong commitment” to embedding sustainability not only in the management of its business and among its employees, but also among its customers.