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Banks should promote sustainable development: MAS

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Monday said financial institutions have a role to play in supporting efforts to promote sustainable development, and that progress is being made on a few fronts.

"MAS has been in discussion with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) on how our banks can help to promote lending practices that support sustainable development. We are pleased that ABS will soon be issuing guidelines on responsible financing," a spokeswoman said.

She added the Singapore Exchange (SGX) has been working with listed companies to enhance disclosure on the environmental and social aspects of their businesses. The MAS supports SGX's plans to mandate sustainability reporting on a "comply or explain" basis. Implementation is targeted for financial year 2017, after completing the ongoing public consultation exercise.

"MAS will support the development of guidance for investors, specifically institutional investors, in engaging with their investee companies, on issues relating to sustainability, social and environmental considerations," she said.