Barclays wants to stimulate corporate adoption of on-site renewables and energy efficiency through the launch of new green corporate banking products.
Described as “pioneering” by the bank, Barclays will offer loans, deposits, asset finance and innovation finance designed specifically to help fund sustainability projects both in the UK and beyond.
The product range has been tailored to support projects of all sizes, with so-called Green Loans on offer for larger clients who require financing of more than £3 million for projects in the UK.
Green Asset Finance will be available for clients who need more flexibility in their financing of green initiatives, while SMEs will be able to take advantage of an innovation finance product backed by the European Investment Fund.
Barclays Green Loans can only be used to fund eligible green projects, including energy efficiency projects, renewables, green transport and other sustainability initiatives.
Barclays said there was “increasing appetite” for more financial support for green initiatives and its customers were now expecting businesses to be able to “demonstrate their environmental credentials”.
Rhian-Mari Thomas, chair of Barclays’ Green Banking Council, said that addressing environmental challenges was now a “compelling economic opportunity”.
“We already have an established presence in the green bond market as a successful lead arranger, investor and now issuer so we are delighted to be able to build on our expertise by launching new, innovative green products to help meet the booming demand for green finance from a broader cross-section of our clients. We’re excited to be at the forefront of something so game-changing,” he added.
Meanwhile Karl Nolson, head of Barclays’ global lending group, said the bank had witnessed a “step-change” in how businesses were approaching sustainable investment.
“For too long, green projects have been viewed as an added extra, but what we’re increasingly hearing from our clients is a shift in mindset, with sustainability becoming more central to their overall investment strategy.
“We share that view at Barclays and know that unless sustainability is at the heart of how companies conduct their operations, they will fall behind.”
Barclays’ new range of products is the second such significant launch of financing packages for on-site renewable generation in the past few weeks, following on from the Macquarie-owned Green Investment Group’s launch of a Green Deal-esque pay-as-you-save product in late November, specifically targeting UK businesses.