National Bank of Canada (“National Bank”) today announced its inaugural USD 750 million 3-year Sustainable Bond offering. The net proceeds will be used to finance and/or refinance, in whole or in part, future or existing eligible businesses and projects in green and social assets, such as hydro power, social housing or daycare centers. Other eligible investment categories may include renewable energy, sustainable buildings, low-carbon transportation, affordable housing and access to basic or essential services. This offering reinforces National Bank’s commitment to financing environmental and social projects, and its goal of having a positive impact on people’s lives.
“The recent signature of the Principle for Responsible Banking is a commitment that National Bank of Canada intends to honour once again with tangible actions,” said Louis Vachon, President and CEO of National Bank.
“This Sustainable Bond offering is the first by a North American bank. Not only is this offering a clear indication of the Bank’s interest in these innovative products and the scope of development capacity in Canada, but it also shows our willingness to make an impact on the way capital markets can contribute to the environmental and social good,” said Jean-Sébastien Gagné, Treasurer at National Bank.
National Bank launched its Sustainability Bond Framework in September 2018 as the first integrated sustainable bond framework in Canada. It is in line with the ICMA Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles, and was reviewed by Vigeo Eiris, a leading independent global ESG research, ratings and assessment firm.
This Sustainable Bond offering enhances National Bank’s commitment in the social responsibility space, as evidenced by the key achievements the Bank recently announced:
- Official signature of the Principles for Responsible Banking
on September 22 at United Nations headquarters in New York;
- Ground-breaking for a new eco-responsible head
office in Montreal that will meet the world’s strictest standards in
terms of sustainable construction, integrative design and employee
health and well-being;
- Support of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD);
- Support of the United Nations' LGBTI Global Standards of
Conduct for Business Tackling Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay,
Bi, Trans, & Intersex People (LGBTI).
- The Sustainable Bonds will bear interest at a fixed rate of 2.15% per annum and will mature on October 7, 2022. The Sustainable Bonds constitute deposit liabilities of National Bank pursuant to the Bank Act (Canada), are unsubordinated and unsecured obligations of the Bank and rank pari passu with all present or future unsubordinated and unsecured obligations of the Bank without any preference among themselves (except as otherwise prescribed by law and subject to the exercise of Bank resolution powers).
- The Sustainable Bonds are bail-inable notes. Bail-inable notes are subject to conversion in whole or in part—by means of a transaction or series of transactions and in one or more steps—into common shares of the Bank or any of its affiliates under subsection 39.2(2.3) of the Canada Deposit Incorporation Act (CDIC Act) and to variation or extinguishment in consequence, and subject to the application of the laws of the Province of Quebec and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein in respect of the operation of the CDIC Act with respect to the Sustainable Bonds.
- The offering was completed by a syndicate co-led by National Bank Financial. The offering is expected to close on October 9, 2019.