IBK Gears Up to Bolster Green Growth Industries
This is the last in a seven-part series of articles on the nation's vision to become a green economic power in the global community and the recent developments of ``green finance'' in Korea to support the vision. ― ED.
By Kim Jae-kyoung
The Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK), as a policy lender, has stepped up its efforts to foster green growth industries in a move to support the government's ``low carbon, green growth'' strategy.
The state-run lender allocated one trillion won to green industries this year. In April, it introduced a ``Green Growth Corporate Loan'' for companies engaged in eco-friendly businesses, such as renewable energy.
In particular, in order to provide financial support for small, cash-hungry green firms, IBK signed a contract with the Korea Credit Guarantee Fund and the Kibo Technology Fund to contribute 20 billion won. Under the contract, the two funds guarantee loans offered to green companies.
In addition, the lender began selling its ``Green Growth Deposit'' from April, as part of efforts to bolster green growth industries. The product offers prime rates for customers based on transaction records. The outstanding balance of the product stood at 1.47 trillion won as of Sept. 18.
The bank plans to donate a maximum of 100 million won for the development of green businesses depending on sales of the two products.
It also unveiled a ``Solar Energy Development Facilities Fund Loan'' to support the development of solar energy plants in May in order to help reduce carbon emission.
``We will continue to make efforts to provide financial support for green growth industries by developing a wide range of green products so that such industries can become new growth engines,'' an IBK executive said.
In cooperation with the Metropolitan Air Quality Management Office, the bank also introduced the nation's first eco-friendly credit card, dubbed the ``LOHAS Card.'' LOHAS stands for ``Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability.'' Cardholders can get 200 won discounts for every ride they take on public transportation.
On Sept. 28, together with other government organizations, including Cheong Wa Dae and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, IBK held its 28th town meeting with 60 CEOs of businesses engaged in green industries to provide information and knowledge about its green finance policy.
``The Korean economy has been powered by the manufacturing industry for the past 50 years. Now it is time to bring a change our economic paradigm,'' IBK CEO Yun Yong-ro said during the meeting.
``We are studying ways to launch a taskforce to support green growth companies more systematically. Also, we plan to provide green management consulting by teaming up with professional organizations,'' he added.