CaixaBank earmarks 4,961 million to social impact investments

In the construction of the social portfolio, the entity has formalised close to 300,000 loans granted to more than 266,000 borrowers

 -   The "la Caixa" Foundation has once again launched a Call for International Cooperation to collaborate with Spanish non-governmental development organisations (NGDOs) on projects in countries with significant pockets of poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America

CaixaBank has published the report on the social impact following the issuance of the three social bonds. The bank has earmarked €4,961 million to finance social projects, which have served to promote the four Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are priorities for the bank. The financial institution was the first Spanish bank to issue a social bond in support of the UN SDGs in September 2019. Since then, CaixaBank has issued two additional social bonds, and has a nominal market placement of €3 billion, including a special one to alleviate the situation caused by COVID-19 in July last year.

The report, prepared in collaboration with Deloitte and audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), analysed the main allocations of resources in the bank's social portfolio. CaixaBank has financed projects that promote four of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 1, end poverty; SDG 3, health and well-being; SDG 4, quality education; and SDG 8, decent work and economic growth. 

In the first edition of this Call for International Cooperation, 19 projects have been selected.

With regard to SDG1, CaixaBank has allocated 972 million euros through MicroBank, with the aim of increasing access to financial services for vulnerable groups. In total, 239,928 microcredits were granted to families. In addition, the finanaciation of rural areas has been favoured with 144 million euros with a total of 38,948 loans.

With regard to SDG 3, the assets identified in the social portfolio amount to 133 million euros. These have been earmarked to improve infrastructure, health facilities, and equipment for the provision of public and/or subsidised health services. It is estimated that more than 1.8 million people will be positively impacted through the six loans granted to health centres. 

The aim of this call is to contribute to the fight against poverty and inequalities through initiatives that improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable populations.

In SDG 4, which focuses on quality education, the objective of the loans identified by CaixaBank has been to support activities that have improved access to primary and secondary education. At the same time, the entity has financed the construction of subsidised educational centres. The 25.4 million euros granted in five loans to educational centres have benefited almost 3,000 students.

Finally, in SDG 8, which aims to generate decent work and economic growth, the loans identified contribute to the generation and preservation of employment, as well as promoting the growth of micro-enterprises and SMEs in the most disadvantaged regions of Spain. The sectors most supported were distribution, commerce and tourism. Of the EUR 3,831 million allocated, EUR 2,080 million corresponds to loans granted to micro-enterprises and SMEs to cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to 58,635 loans, more than 54,400 jobs have been created or maintained and almost 4,000 new companies have been set up. In addition, rural areas, which have been particularly hard hit by depopulation and the pandemic, have received 385 million euros.

CaixaBank, committed to sustainability

CaixaBank is one of the financial institutions most committed to sustainability, given that its Socially Responsible Banking Plan, which includes MicroBank, its social bank, includes five important principles of action that make a direct contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The "la Caixa" Foundation earmarks more than 750,000 euros to support Spanish NGDO projects in developing countries.

Through its activities, the bank supports environmentally friendly initiatives and projects that contribute to preventing and mitigating climate change, promoting the transition to a low-carbon economy and social development.

In 2021, the bank mobilised EUR 29.05 billion in sustainable financing, which represents a 130% increase in the volume of sustainable financing in 2020 as a whole.

A total of 8.25 billion in financing linked to ESG variables has been formalised, including environmental objectives, such as emissions reduction and energy efficiency, and 1 billion in green financing.

By December 2021, CaixaBank had formalised more than 40 renewable financing operations, with a volume of EUR 3,250 million in Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, the United States and Chile. CaixaBank, in its capacity as placement bank, also participated in the issue of 18 green, sustainable or social bonds for a total of EUR 17,800 million.

At the end of the third quarter of 2021, CaixaBank was the fifth largest European bank in terms of green and sustainable loans in the League Tables Top Tier by volume, according to Refinitiv.

To date, CaixaBank has issued seven bonds in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is the European bank with the highest volume of ESG credit issues in euros: four green bonds and three social bonds, for a total value of €6 billion and £500 million.