An Assessment of Sustainable Banking Regulations in Emerging Economies
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The drive for sustainable finance practice is growing globally. This development is being driven by the growing global interest in Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) which has compelled banks to take Environmental and Social (E&S) considerations seriously in their business decisions and relationships with clients. Though this started as voluntary corporate efforts, particularly among leading players in the global financial sector, it soon became popular in leading economies, evolving into collaborations and frameworks that have helped set new standards, codes and legislations. However, this success was not replicated in developing and emerging markets due to several mitigating factors. Interestingly, in the last few years, African, Asian and Latin American financial institutions are beginning to show increasing interest in developing and embedding E&S considerations and governance into their internal system and lending processes. One remarkable deviation here is the involvement of regulators in the design and implementation of ESG standards that drive this process. This is contrary to the voluntary practices that are common among leading economies. This research is focused on assessing the development of this evolving ESG practices, by undertaking an analysis of existing regulations in emerging economies and the role of regulators in the integration of E&S considerations in the banking sector. It also takes a look at the key drivers of the practice, the state of implementation, its strengths and weaknesses, future and if this can be applied to leading global financial systems.