This paper analyzes the impact of three financial sector sustainability regulations: the Chinese green credit guidelines, the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles and the Bangladesh Environmental Risk Management Guidelines. All three address the connection between financial sector activities and sustainable development, and develop guidelines for sustainable banking policies, strategies, practices, products and services. The paper concludes that, first, the mandatory guidelines have an impact on the sustainability performance of banks. In all three cases, sustainability performance increased after the introduction of the guidelines. Second, the inclusion of the banking sector into the development of financial sustainability regulations increases the success of the regulation. Third, activities to support the implementation of financial sustainability guidelines and supervising the compliance with the guidelines are crucial for the success of financial sector sustainability regulations. Fourth, financial sector sustainability regulations have a positive impact on both the financial sector’s financial performance and stability and sustainability performance. Finally, more research is needed to explore the impact of financial sector sustainability regulations on sustainable development.

Part of Series

CIGI Papers present in-depth analysis and discussion on governance-related subjects. They include policy papers that present CIGI experts' positions or contributions to policy debates, and background papers that contain research findings, insights and data that contribute to the development of policy positions.
  • Olaf Weber is a CIGI senior fellow. His research focuses on sustainability and the banking sector. He is currently an associate professor at the University of Waterloo. Since 2010, Olaf has held the Export Development Canada Chair in Environmental Finance.

  • Olawuwo Oni has a master of environmental studies degree in sustainability management from the University of Waterloo.