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Banking & Finance

Japan's MUFG Bank joins ESG wave with new unit

Funding decisions will incorporate nonfinancial benchmarks

The Kurobe dam in Japan's Toyama Prefecture: MUFG will be funding ESG projects such as hydroelectricity. (Photo by Yuki Fukumoto)

TOKYO -- MUFG Bank will set up a department specializing in environmental, social and governance-oriented funding, developing financial products with better terms for companies focused on responsible investing.

The sustainable business office will provide financing to companies based on ESG ratings and numerical benchmarks, as well as encourage customers to work on ESG issues. It will also consider making its own investments in businesses and funds.

The section's staff of about 10 will coordinate with the marketing department in the bank's corporate finance division to expand ESG-focused financing. It will also liaise with international organizations.

Holding company Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is signing on to the Principles for Responsible Banking being launched by the United Nations next month. By setting publicly disclosed goals for the environmental and social impact of individual businesses, it aims to improve ESG groupwide.

MUFG Bank has already taken concrete steps to this end. As of last month, its Tokyo headquarters began sourcing all its power from hydroelectric sources, via the Aqua Premium plan offered by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings unit Tepco Energy Partner.

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