Celebrating excellence and innovation in the financial sector, last night’s (Thursday 26 May 2022) Institute of Finance Professionals New Zealand (INFINZ) Awards proved fruitful for Kiwibank who walked away with the Hunter Campbell - ESG Award.
Held in Auckland, the prestigious annual event saw Kiwibank accept the ESG award which celebrates an organisation-wide commitment to sustainability, with judges stating they were particularly impressed with the company’s B Corp certification and its focus on looking after its people.
“As part of being a purpose-driven business, we know that we need to run our business in a way that supports our customers, our people, the communities we operate in and the environment,” said Kiwibank’s Head of Sustainable Finance, Tom Williams.
“As B Corp companies well know, the work doesn’t stop here, we are about constant improvement so we can continue to play an impactful role in creating an inclusive and sustainable economy where what we do results in benefits for everyone.”
In 2021, Kiwibank became the largest bank in New Zealand to earn B Corp certification, proof it is heading in the right direction when it comes to balancing purpose and profits.
In its application for the INFINZ ESG Award the New Zealand-owned bank highlighted achievements including: Rainbow Tick, Gender Tick and Living Wage Employer accreditation; its Rautaki Māori (Māori strategy) which helps support Māori aspirations; issuing bank cards made from recycled materials; introduction of gambling block option for customers struggling with an online gambling addiction; support for financial literacy for tamariki through the classroom-economy platform Banqer; introduction of a Responsible Business Banking policy; its response to managing the risks of climate change; and its reduction in carbon emissions by 53% from a baseline year of 2018.
Kiwibank was also a finalist for the Guardian Trust - NZ Debt Market Issue of the Year with its $250m issue of Perpetual Preference Shares (PPS).
This was the first Additional Tier 1 (AT1) capital deal completed in New Zealand since 2015, meeting the Reserve Bank’s new requirements for capital instruments as well as Financial Market Conduct Act regulations for disclosure purposes. Kiwibank worked with its regulators to achieve practical disclosure, appropriate for an AT1 capital instrument.
“This is critical to our ability to operate, and an important part of us meeting our regulatory requirements. Raising capital every few years is important as capital is needed to fund Kiwibank’s growth and ultimately fulfil its purpose of supporting more Kiwi and their businesses to thrive,” said Kiwibank’s Head of Funding, Geoff Martin.
More information on the INFINZ Awards can be found at infinz.com.