Finance is a powerful tool that can support not only economic vitality, but also social change. Our commitment to responsible lending is about mitigating risk while creating the conditions that drive a more sustainable future.
As part of our enterprise risk and credit risk management frameworks, we evaluate the environmental and social risks that affect our clients. And we have internal policies for our Commercial Banking and Capital Markets businesses that provide guidance on how to identify, manage and mitigate those risks in financing transactions.
BMO is committed to integrating environmental, social and governance considerations into decision-making and activities relating to financing and lending. A higher level of environmental due diligence is applied in our assessments of clients active in environmentally sensitive industries. In evaluating social risks, we look at how well a client manages regulatory and other issues related to stakeholder engagement and Indigenous consultation. BMO is a signatory to the Equator Principles, a risk management framework for identifying, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in project finance transactions.
Evaluating risk in lending is an important issue for BMO, especially as we consider how we can best assist the transition to a lower-carbon economy while supporting our clients in the energy sector. That means acknowledging their ongoing importance to our economy, as well as the economic development of a significant number of our communities. And environmental risk is only part of the picture. Through our lending practices, we can encourage borrowers to make socially responsible choices in their operations. We apply rigorous screening for social risks like human trafficking, unfair labour practices, international transfer of equipment for military or internal security purposes, and the manufacturing of weapons banned by international arms control treaties.
BMO’s lending to the natural resources sector was $28 billion in 2018 – 7% of total lending.
In renewable energy commitments in 2018.
Value of sustainable finance underwritten by BMO.