RIZAL Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) will offer green time deposits, with the proceeds to be used to fund the bank’s sustainable asset portfolio.

The first to be offered in the country, RCBC’s green time deposits have a minimum investment of P5,000, the bank said in a statement.

“Through this product, individual investors or even private corporations have a more accessible vehicle to participate and contribute to a sustainable future,” RCBC Retail Banking Group Head Richard C. Lim said.

Clients can invest up to P5 million in the bank’s green time deposit, which has a term option of 30 days, 45 days, 60 days, 90 days, 180 days, and one year.

Depositors’ funds will be used solely to support the bank’s asset portfolio, which includes funding for projects on renewable energy, pollution prevention and control, energy efficiency, sustainable water management, and clean transportation.

“We developed this product for an unserved segment in the market whose objectives would dovetail with our green and social goals under the bank’s sustainable finance framework,” RCBC Treasurer Horacio E. Cebrero, III said.

Sustainable financial products in the country before RCBC’s latest offering have only been in the form of loans and bonds.

On Monday, the bank also started offering ASEAN sustainability bonds. RCBC is hoping to raise at least P3 billion from the transaction which will be used for general funding purposes that are in line with the bank’s sustainable finance framework.

RCBC said it is committed to disclose the greenhouse gas emissions of its portfolio as part of its responsibility in being a participant of the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials starting 2021. It is the first local lender that joined the initiative.

In 2020, RCBC became the first local bank to turn its back on coal-fired power projects.

The Yuchengco-led lender’s net profit more than doubled to P2.01 billion in the third quarter of 2021, backed by higher interest earnings and trading income.

This brought RCBC’s net earnings as of September to P5.338 billion, increasing by a third from the P4 billion booked in the same period of 2020.

The bank’s shares closed at P20.95 apiece on Wednesday, up by 55 centavos or by 2.7% from its previous finish. — Luz Wendy T. Noble