NatWest wins prestigious lead manager awards

31 March 2021

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Environmental Finance Bond Awards panel praises NatWest’s thought-leadership and quality of transactions for our customers in the Sustainable Finance market

NatWest has won its first two awards related to Sustainable Finance and is behind three Sustainable Finance deals for our customers which have equally been announced as winners in their categories.

The Environmental Finance Bond Awards recognise those that excel, innovate and contribute to the successful development of the Sustainable Finance market. An independent panel of investors awarded NatWest “Lead manager of the Year, sustainability bonds – local authority/municipality” and “Lead manager of the Year, green bonds – supranational, sub-sovereign and agency (SSAs)”, praising our thought-leadership and innovative approach.

Deciding upon the lead manager award for sustainability bonds for local authorities and municipalities, the panel agreed that NatWest’s approach to lead managing environmentally and socially-focused bond transactions for regional governments such as Ville de Paris and the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (“Land NRW”), stood out and demonstrated NatWest Group’s commitment to supporting local authorities and municipalities across Europe.

The recognition as lead manager for green SSA bonds was based on NatWest’s leading role in the green bond market in 2020, assisting a number of debut-issuers – for example KfW, Societe Du Grand Paris, SFIL and Eurofima – and attracting a high percentage of ESG-focused investors, a result of working ever more closely with the ESG analyst community and deepening relationships.

NatWest customers recognised for innovative and best practice deals

Furthermore, the NatWest teams were delighted for our customers who won the following awards:

  • The “Green bond of the Year – local authority/municipality” went to MuniFin for their third Euro denominated 500 million Green Bond, which saw the largest oversubscription in the history of the company’s issuances. MuniFin is one of Finland’s largest credit institutions specialising on lending to Finnish municipalities and non-profit housing companies.
  • The European Central Bank won “Investor of the Year (not a fund)” for its decision last year to make sustainability linked bonds eligible as collateral and as investments for various Quantitative Easing programmes (they weren’t classified as eligible assets before).
  • And, SFIL won “Asset-backed/asset-based/covered social bond of the year” for its CAFFIL Euro 1 billion Social Bond in 2020, which marked the first COVID-19 Covered Bond transaction launched in the market. SFIL group is a leading lender to the French public hospital sector.

Dedicated to making Sustainable Finance a success

Commenting on the awards, Caroline Haas, Head of Sustainable Finance FIs and SSAs, NatWest, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that the Environmental Finance panel has recognised our role in the sustainability bond market in 2020 as well as our dedication to make our customers’ sustainable finance transactions a success for them. We’re equally excited to hear that our customers SFIL, the European Central Bank and MuniFin have won awards for their innovative approach to Sustainable Finance.”

Dr Arthur Krebbers. Head of Sustainable Finance Corporates, NatWest, added: “Winning our first Sustainable Finance awards is a fantastic achievement. We’re very pleased that NatWest Group’s purpose-led strategy, which puts sustainability at the heart of our activities, is already bearing fruit, and we couldn’t be happier to be recognised for our role in helping the Sustainable Finance market to further grow and develop. Congratulations to our customers for winning such prestigious awards and leading the way for other institutions to follow the path of sustainability.”

Damien Carde, Head of FBG DCM NatWest, said: “NatWest Markets wholeheartedly embrace the ESG agenda and we are delighted to have been able to leverage our strong relationships within the SSA space to make a real impact here, both for our organisation and for our issuers. Specific highlights from the EFB panel surrounding our strong UK and EUR coverage, alongside our stand-out syndication team (led by Kerr Finlayson) affirm the market leading nature of our internal teams. These awards reflect our wider commitment and focus on driving the ESG agenda within the SSA space and we are incredibly proud to have been recognised.”

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