KUALA LUMPUR, August 27 – CIMB Bank Berhad and CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad have taken a significant stride towards promoting sustainable business practices in Malaysia with the launch of their Sustainability-Linked Financing (SLF) programme for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This pioneering initiative, boasting a total allocation of RM3 billion until 2030, positions CIMB as the first bank in the market to offer a comprehensive value proposition for SMEs to access attractive financing rebates and incentives, thereby accelerating their adoption of sustainability practices.

The SLF programme aims to encourage SMEs to achieve credible greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets through attractive financing rebates of up to 0.50% per annum as they seek financing for their capital or expansion needs. The simplicity of the programme lies in SMEs only needing to input relevant data into the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation’s Low Carbon Operating System (LCOS) platform, a user-friendly web-based tool.

As part of the programme’s launch, CIMB has collaborated with MGTC, entering into a Memorandum of Cooperation to explore further opportunities to drive sustainability adoption among SMEs. The signing ceremony for this collaboration was witnessed by YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change. YB Nik Nazmi lauded CIMB’s initiative, emphasizing the importance of public-private partnerships in fostering a resilient, low-carbon economy in the face of climate change.

He expressed his appreciation for financial institutions like CIMB that are actively incentivizing SMEs to reduce GHG emissions while providing the necessary training and advisory services to support their transition to sustainable practices. The SLF programme extends CIMB’s award-winning GreenBizReady proposition, launched in 2021 as a comprehensive sustainability solution for SMEs. Through GreenBizReady, CIMB has been assisting SMEs in achieving their sustainability goals by providing training, advisory services, and facilitating collaborations.

Ahmad Shazli Kamarulzaman, Deputy CEO of Group Commercial Banking at CIMB Group, reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to empowering SMEs to adopt sustainable practices and contribute to Malaysia’s Net Zero ambitions. The SLF offering for SMEs aligns with CIMB Group’s target to achieve Net Zero GHG emissions by 2050. The programme’s alignment with Loan Market Association’s Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles ensures it conforms to global standards, making it a cost-effective and accessible option for SMEs.

CIMB’s SLF for corporate clients, launched in 2020, has seen substantial interest and acceptance, with a three-fold increase in 2022 to RM1.2 billion. The SLF for SMEs will be instrumental in CIMB’s ambition to mobilize RM60 billion in sustainable finance by 2024, reinforcing its position as an ASEAN sustainability leader. With the SLF programme in place, CIMB aims to support SMEs in not only reducing their environmental impact but also in enhancing business resilience and access to export markets. Through this initiative, SMEs will be better prepared to navigate evolving market trends and regulations towards sustainable supply chains within the global economy.

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