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Equator Principles

Westpac was a founding signatory to the Equator Principles.

In 2003, Westpac was one of 10 founding signatories globally, and the only Australian signatory, to the Equator Principles, a risk management framework adopted by financial institutions for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in projects.

In 2013, we signed the third version of the Equator Principles (EP III) which expands the range of financing activities where the principles apply and enhances the disclosure requirements and carbon consideration for project originators.

Today, there are over 80 signatories to the Equator Principles in 34 countries, covering more than 70% of international project-finance debt market in emerging markets.

In adopting the Principles, we agreed to provide loans only for projects whose sponsors can demonstrate their ability and willingness to comply with processes that ensure they are developed in a socially responsible manner, according to sound environmental management practices.

Applying the Equator Principles

The Equator Principles constitute an integral part of our project finance evaluation and decision-making process.

We apply the Equator Principles to:

  • All project finance transactions
  • Project-Related Corporate Loans (where certain specific criteria are met as required by the Equator Principles)
  • Bridge Loans with a tenor of less than two years that are intended to be refinanced by Project Finance or a Project-Related Corporate Loan (where certain specific criteria are met as required by the Equator Principles).

To meet our commitments we apply a detailed process of assessment against the Equator Principles, including:

  • Categorising all new and existing projects as category A, B or C
  • Completing internal documentation using the Equator Principles as the process benchmark
  • Detailing any special conditions or covenants to apply
  • Monitoring compliance with conditions subsequent and other material obligations of the borrower.

All relevant personnel involved in the evaluation and approval process are informed of the Equator Principle requirements and implications of each project, and the Head of Project Finance (or a senior delegate) is required to sign off on the assessment of each project finance transaction against the Principles.