New framework established for ESG-rated products

10 July 2019

NatWest Markets[1] has today announced the establishment of a new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) product framework that will facilitate investments in high ESG-rated assets. This framework is the first of its kind in the market and offers corporate and institutional investors the opportunity to subscribe to a range of NatWest Markets' shorter dated ESG-linked liquidity and funding products.

Through the establishment of the framework, NatWest Markets aims to support a high ESG portfolio of financial institution and agency bonds that it will own as part of its overall treasury portfolio, with a particular focus on bonds issued by development banks.

Commenting on the establishment of the framework, Rupert Mingay, Treasurer, NatWest Markets, said:

“Our ESG framework facilitates debt market access and liquidity for high ESG-rated organisations as well as giving NatWest Markets’ clients the ability to link their liquidity investments to a specific ESG treasury strategy. It also provides a flexible approach to further broaden our investor base across many debt types and using the proceeds to strengthen NatWest Markets’ ESG investment portfolio.”

Dr. Arthur Krebbers, Head of Sustainable Finance, Corporates, NatWest Markets, added:

“NatWest Markets is proud to be leading the way in developing new sustainable finance solutions. This offering is the first of its kind and will promote best in class ESG policies and outcomes. Implementing this framework has been a significant undertaking and reflects the wider commitment and focus across NatWest Markets and RBS to working in a more sustainable manner and supporting our clients to achieve their ESG ambitions.”

In its Second Party Opinion, ISS-oekom stated:

“This ESG Product framework aligns strongly with NWM’s (and RBS’) overall strategy, demonstrating a highly positive ESG trajectory. Due to the efforts around this ESG Product framework, NWM’s ESG performance and standing is improved.”

The assets that will be eligible for investment under the framework are those identified as ‘ESG Prime’ by ISS-oekom, a leading provider of corporate governance and responsible investment solutions. ISS-oekom has also provided a second party opinion attesting to the robustness and sustainability value-add of the framework.

Supporting clients in aligning their portfolios and improving both their ESG-level requirements and ambitions is a key focus for NatWest Markets, with the framework forming part of a wider commitment from the bank.

[1] NatWest Markets means both NatWest Markets Plc and NatWest Markets N.V.