Environmental Finance's Sustainable Debt Awards 2024

Lead manager of the year, social bonds - financial institution and Lead manager of the year, sustainability bonds - financial institution: ING

ING acted as lead manager on four social bond issues over 2023 covering social housing, gender equality, social care and education.

French Bank La Banque Postale (LBP) launched its inaugural social bond, a €1.25 billion ($1.36 billion) offering, targeting affordable housing, access to human and social care, access to education, socioeconomic advancement and empowerment. It was also lead manager on two social bonds by the Korea Housing Finance Corporation, again addressing affordable mortgage loans. Finally, it was lead manager for a NatWest offering where all proceeds are allocated to women-led businesses, in a first for a European bank.

"The first social transaction supporting female entrepreneurs appears innovative," commented one Sustainable Debt Awards judge.

Hans Biemans"Following the rapid development of the green financing market, the ING team is proud to now also be actively supporting the development of the social financing segment," said Hans Biemans, head sustainable capital markets at ING. "The Environmental Finance recognition for ING's leadership in financial institution social and sustainable bonds comes as a great recognition, especially in those regions that harbour the most potential in terms of social impact."

On the sustainability side, again 2023 saw four issues from financial institutions with ING as joint lead manager.

In the space of a week, the bank supported three different Turkish financial institutions to come to the market. First, was Vakifbank, followed by Yapi Kredi with its first sustainable Euro issuance. Then, TSKB, Turkey's first privately-owned development and investment bank, came to the sustainable bond market with the assistance of ING. The latter two were issued on frameworks structured on a sole basis by ING.

James RileyFinally, Romanian financial institution Banca Transilvania launched its debut sustainable bond last year on its sustainability framework, with ING as sole structuring agent. The bond had fairly broad green, social and sustainable use of proceeds and included an 'employment generation' category that aims to finance and refinance micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). These investments are also subject to a sectoral exclusion list.

"Financial institutions play a pivotal role as financial intermediaries in the broader economy and society, hence financial institutions are intrinsically well positioned to steer capital to sustainably oriented activities," said James Riley, financial institutions lead, sustainable capital markets at ING.

In total, ING's teams assisted over 30 financial institution issuers with the launch of new green, social or sustainable bonds across both EUR and USD primary markets in 2023, having acted as structuring advisor for 12 of these clients.