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Considering green bonds? Learn all about KfW’s big-scale example

VIDEO | With a flagship role to finance the world’s sustainability transition on behalf of Germany, development bank KfW sourced over 80 billion euro in funding only in 2021. Of this, 16 billion was issued under its “Green Bonds – Made by KfW” framework. In June, delegates to Treasury 360° Nordic met group treasurer Tim Armbruster in Copenhagen. Here, you can see his session too.

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In all, KfW is one of the world’s largest non-sovereign bond issuers. In his session, Tim Armbruster – KfW’s senior vice president and treasurer – goes through the setup of the green bond framework in detail, and not least the reasons behind it.

With KfW’s triple-A rating, the bank borrows cheaply to start with, and the additional benefit from the green quality will only reward it by single basis points. With 400 billion euro outstanding, that could still add up to some good money in total, of course. But then also, with 550 billion euro of assets, initiatives to reduce physical risks such as floods could save money also on the left side of the balance sheet, when target companies use their funding sustainably.

A bank for the “unbankable”

Taking windpower as an example, Tim Armbruster explains the role of the promotional bank in helping “unbankable” products across the gap to where normal banks can take them on as clients. KfW financed its first offshore windpark in 2011. Today, some ten years later, normal banks support such business and KfW pulls back.

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As Germany and its government bets hard on the sustainable transformation of business and society, the role of its development bank KfW is central. In fact so central, it was mentioned 13 times in the latest government declaration as an instrument to promote the change.

“So within KfW, there were of course a few colleagues who said hooray … and the treasurers said ‘oh my god, what does it mean for my balance sheet’,” says Tim Armbruster.

“What is important in the end is always that you deliver. So if you are mentioned there 13 times, you have to define what it means exactly, and how you prepare yourself, the department, the staff, the organization, and everything.”


Treasury 360° Nordic 2022, on 9 June, gathered nearly 300 delegates at Clarion Hotel Copenhagen Airport, and 100 online.
Click here to sign up already now for Treasury 360° Nordic 2023, on 20 April.
• Info site, with speakers and agenda for the past 2022 event – click here.

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