The regulatory landscape for Gulf financial service providers is changing, with growing awareness of the need for banking institutions to adopt sustainable finance frameworks and responsible lending and operational practices in order to manage risk and attract international investment. By establishing sustainable finance frameworks, banking institutions are able to structure their sustainable lending practices and strengthen systemic safeguards against social and environmental risks, while also diversifying their funding sources and raising their international profile.
Digitalisation has a key role to play in advancing environment, social and governance (ESG) priorities at banking institutions. For example, digital banking solutions can expand inclusive financing options and reduce the need for cash and paper, while data analytics can improve risk-management procedures. This report looks at how ESG issues are shaping the development of the banking sector in the Gulf, and at Kuwait’s largest bank by asset size in particular.