AU Small Finance Bank introduces Planet First – AU Green Fixed Deposit, with proceeds dedicated to green projects

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Sanjay AgarwalMumbai, October 26, 2023: AU Small Finance Bank (AU SFB), India’s largest SFB, proudly introduces its first Green Fixed Deposit (FD) called Planet First – AU Green Fixed Deposit, purposefully designed to allocate its entire proceeds to support renewable and green projects including solar power, electric mobility solutions, etc. AU SFB is in a unique position to contribute towards sustainable ‘Badlaav’ through gradually offering such retail products aligned with the guidance of the regulator.

The Green Deposit policy and framework would further complement AU SFB’s intent on climate action. The policy and framework are approved by the Board and is externally reviewed by a third party in accordance with the mandatory requirements. Channelizing funds through the green route and lending towards green assets, AU SFB’s efforts on sustainability will continue to evolve to reflect ‘Badlaav,’ in the journey of ‘Forever’.

The Planet First – AU Green Fixed Deposit offers an attractive interest rate of up to 8.50 percent, with a minimum investment requirement of only Rs 5,000. This new offering allows both AU SFB’s existing and new customers to secure their Green FD conveniently through Video Banking, the AU 0101 App, NetBanking, or by simply visiting their nearest AU Small Finance Bank branches. The Green FD is being launched on the last Wednesday of October, as this day is also recognized as Sustainability Day.

The customers can opt for a tenure that aligns with their financial objectives, spanning from the shortest term of two years to long-term options. Planet First – AU Green Fixed Deposit offers a variety of interest payment choices to customers, including monthly, quarterly, and cumulative (at maturity), to help them manage their cash flows effectively. Furthermore, customers will receive regular updates regarding the utilization of their funds and the progress of the green projects supported by Planet First – AU Green Fixed Deposit, keeping them well-informed every step of the way.

Marking a pioneering stride in the Indian banking sector, this remains the country’s one leading Green FD introduced following Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines that mandate to use of the proceeds only in activities that champion energy efficiency, curtail carbon emissions, and greenhouse gases, bolster climate resilience and adaptation, and safeguard and enrich natural ecosystems and biodiversity. These funds will be utilized pan-India with a few focus areas being green projects in Rural Bharat.

Speaking on this launch, Mr. Sanjay Agarwal, Founder and MD & CEO, of AU Small Finance Bank said, “Climate change has been recognized as one of the most critical challenges faced by the global society and economy in the 21st century and Indian Government has taken a leading role in climate control change by committing to net-zero target at COP 27 (Confederation of Parties) meeting. Additionally, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is among the first global regulators to introduce a green deposit framework. Recognizing the environment as a key stakeholder, we at AU, have recently enhanced our sustainability initiatives under the guidance of the Sustainability Committee of the Board and the inclusion of senior board members and executives with expertise in sustainability. Now, we are taking an even greater step forward and will be among the first few banks to launch ‘Planet First – AU Green Fixed Deposit,’ fully compliant with the new RBI framework. Our intent is to keep the planet first in our thoughts & actions and to foster the ethos of the recent G20 initiative of One Earth, One Family, and One Future. We are extremely happy to add Green Fixed Deposit to our bouquet of innovative and customer-centric products. By choosing Planet First – AU Green Fixed Deposit, one joins a community of pro-green customers, where the deposits so mobilized, shall be channelized exclusively into essential green projects (including solar power, electric mobility solutions, etc) that support climate action.”