ASB welcomes the release of the Climate Change Commission's first draft advice to government which calls for 'transformational and lasting' change across society and the economy.
Chief Executive Officer Vittoria Shortt says, "Banks have an important role to play in supporting the changes that need to occur if New Zealand is to enjoy a more sustainable future which is why, from next month, we will start offering discounted lending to customers taking positive steps to manage their emissions.
"At ASB we recognise climate change as one of the most critical issues facing our economy and communities. We are committed to meaningful climate action, building our climate resilience and supporting the transition to net zero emissions in line with the Paris Agreement."
"Our initial focus for discounted lending will be to help business customers embrace the change needed to move New Zealand to a lower emissions, more resilient future. We'll help our business customers explore options such as moving their fleet to electric vehicles, switching to renewable energy for process heat or more energy efficient commercial buildings. We will also target projects that support both regional growth and positive climate outcomes."
Ms Shortt says ASB is also poised to roll out discounted lending initiatives to help households reduce their emissions and combat climate change, including incentivising the building of new energy efficient homes.
ASB will access low-cost funds available under the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's Funding for Lending Programme and pass the benefit on to customers through this discounted lending. Ms Shortt says, "Banks are able to access these funds with no restrictions on their use. However, we believe this funding should work hard for the benefit of all New Zealanders and that channelling it towards productive lending in this way is the right thing to do."
"As the Climate Change Commission points out, 2050 is not far away when you consider the life span of infrastructure, vehicles, buildings and people. By taking this action, ASB can play its part in helping New Zealand businesses and individuals take faster action towards achieving our national goals."