NatWest Group has today issued a €1bn affordable housing social bond, the first of its kind by a UK bank. The issuance reinforces NatWest Group’s July 2020 commitment to provide £3bn of funding to the UK’s affordable housing sector by the end of 2022.
The bank has selected a pool of loans to not-for-profit, registered UK-based housing associations to which it will allocate the proceeds of the bond’s issuance. These housing associations undertake social rent, affordable rent, supported housing and shared property schemes. In totality, they own around 150,000 units of housing stock.
NatWest Group Chief Executive, Alison Rose, commented: “The launch of our inaugural affordable housing social bond reinforces our pledge to provide £3bn of funding to the affordable housing sector by the end of 2022. The proceeds from this bond will help fund the provision of affordable housing in the UK, resulting in positive social impacts and helping to reduce inequalities in communities across the country, a number of which have been severely impacted as a result of the pandemic. As the third bond issued from our Green, Social and Sustainability Bond Framework, it helps to underline our commitment to the green and social sectors.
“This new bond is strong evidence of NatWest acting as a sustainable, purpose-led bank that champions the communities we serve and helps them to thrive.”
This issuance includes allocation of proceeds to both new and existing lending, with full allocation expected over the next 12 months. The bank will then issue an impact assessment report on and at least annually thereafter, in line with the International Capital Markets Association standards.