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Dirty money! BPI, PNB top list of coal financiers

Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands continues to pour millions of pesos into coal-fired power plants despite a global shift to renewable energy.

The latest report of watchdog Withdraw from Coal showed BPI has the highest exposure among 15 Philippine banks to coal at 27 percent, mainly due to underwriting deals for AboitizPower.

Citing 2020 data, the report said BPI committed to underwrite over P1 billion of AboitizPower’s new corporate retail bond, which will be used to redeem 2014 bonds that were utilized to fund coal plants in Pagbilao, Cebu, and Davao.

“Overall, BPI has funded at least 15 coal plant projects and six coal developer companies,” the report read.

Next to BPI, bilyonaryo Lucio Tan’s Philippine National Bank was identified as a top financier of dirty energy, funding nine coal-powered plants.

Withdraw from Coal urged banks to invest instead in renewable energy projects for long-term sustainability.

“By closing coal’s money pipeline and moving over to investing fully in clean power, we believe you can open the door to a sustainable future for all Filipinos, and influence all other banks to follow suit,” the group said.

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