Social bond of the year - bank - CaixaBank

Channels: Green Bonds

Gonzalo GortázaCaixaBank issued its inaugural social bond in September 2019 worth €1 billion ($1.1 billion) with a maturity of five years and coupon of 0.625%, the largest social bond in unsecured format issued by a Spanish financial institution.

The landmark transaction attracted investor demand totalling €2.25 billion in bids. Investors that claimed to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in their investment decisions made up 55% of demand. The bond also achieved the lowest senior non-preferred bond coupon ever printed from any Southern European financial institution issuer, CaixaBank claimed.

CaixaBank also said the deal saw it become the first Spanish bank to issue a social bond to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The bank said the proceeds will go to projects that contribute in this case to SDG 1 (No poverty) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).

Deal Highlights

Issuer: CaixaBank
Size: €1 billion ($1.1 billion)
Maturity: 1 October 2024
Coupon: 0.625%
Use of proceeds: Employment generation including through the potential effect of SME financing and microfinance, socioeconomic advancement and empowerment
External review: Sustainalytics
Lead managers: ABN AMRO, CaixaBank, Credit Agricole CIB, HSBC, Merrill Lynch International
Credit rating: DBRS (A); Fitch (BBB+); Moody's (Baa3); S&P Global (BBB)
Other highlights/notable features: First Spanish bank to issue a social bond to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 Proceeds from the transaction will be used to fund loans to fight poverty, 'generate dignified employment' and create jobs in disadvantaged areas of Spain.

The loans will include those granted by CaixaBank-owned MicroBank to individuals or families who live in Spain, whose total available income is €17,200 or less, without any collateral or guarantee as well as bank financing that promotes growth of micro, small and medium-sized businesses in the most economically disadvantaged regions of Spain (either ranking in the bottom 30th percentile in GDP/capita or in the top 30th in unemployment rate).

CaixaBank CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar, said the issuance "strengthens our condition as pacesetters in socially responsible banking, directly contributing to the economic and social development of our customers, particularly those in a situation of vulnerability".