Ethical investment and lending business practices
Bank First is a socially responsible corporate citizen and has adopted a sustainable investment and lending approach, applying principles that reflect our corporate values.
The guiding principles for our approach to our investment and lending policies are:
- Ethical investment selection - the Bank will not invest in fossil fuels and has no plans to do so.
- Satisfactory investment returns - as a bank and Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) we are guided by our regulator the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA),
APRA has determined Bank First to be subject to the minimum liquidity holdings regime and required to maintain a portfolio of liquid assets. For example, the Bank’s liquid investments must be free from encumbrances and include:
(b) Securities eligible for repurchase transactions with the Reserve Bank;
(c) Bank bills and certificate of deposits issued by ADIs provided the issue is rated at least “investment grade” (as set out in the Prudential Standard APS 116 – Capital Adequacy: Market Risk);
(d) Deposits (at call and any other deposits readily convertible into cash within two business days held with other ADIs net of placements by the other ADIs); and
(e) Any other securities approved by APRA.
Our investments consist of high quality liquidity assets. This ensures we meet prudential standards for good investment returns.
- Ethical investment choices for financial planning clients – a choice of investment options are available to customers who undertake the financial planning process.
- Economical and responsible lending - The Bank is committed to customers’ financial wellbeing and employs conservative lending practices to ensure customers are not putting themselves in financial hardship. Practical advice and guidance helps customers select the most affordable loans suited to their personal situation.
Bank First is also committed to providing sustainable options within its product range which includes green options for lending products.
Providing loans for commercial purposes is restricted and any such contracts do not involve financing of fossil fuel based industries.
Our customers can be assured that Bank First will always be conservative and responsible in our approach with the investment and lending of funds, always abiding by the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice.