Expanding Citi's Commitment to Social Finance

October 28, 2021
Jorge Rubio, Global Head, Citi Social Finance

Financial products, medicine, education, a home, electricity, clean water. Lack of access to basic necessities leaves billions of people around the world without a path to economic and social stability or growth. Despite recent progress, 1.7 billion people still do not own a bank account; 760 million people are not able to access electricity; and almost 265 million children don't go to school. The global pandemic has exacerbated these challenges and reaffirmed the urgency required to address them.

For decades, Citi has used its unparalleled global footprint and expertise to build client relationships that go the last mile and enable economic progress around the world. But in the wake of the pandemic, we know that we must accelerate and expand our efforts if we are to rebuild a global economy that is both sustainable and inclusive.

That is why earlier this year, Citi made a $1 trillion commitment to sustainable finance by 2030. Crucially, this commitment includes our $500 billion social finance goal to ensure that we are aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. As part of this goal, we are aiming to expand access to essential services for 15 million low-income households, including 10 million women, within the first few years of our 2030 commitment. These efforts are also a key component of Citi's Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda.

Today, we took a major step forward with the offering of the inaugural Citi Social Finance Bond, a $1 billion bond that supports social impact in emerging markets around the world. The use of proceeds from the bond will finance a range of projects, including those that expand access to financial services, affordable housing, basic infrastructure, healthcare and education in underserved and unbanked communities globally.

To help meet our $500 billion social finance goal, Citi is expanding the focus of our global Citi Social Finance team, which will accelerate work across Citi businesses to integrate social impact into client solutions. Our transition to Citi Social Finance (formerly Citi Inclusive Finance) builds on a 15-year track record of developing new business models and partnerships that leverage market-based approaches to improve the livelihoods of low-income communities in emerging markets. To date, these efforts have reached 4 million unbanked and underbanked individuals in emerging markets, 3.5 million of which are women.

We are building on this longstanding leadership in financial inclusion and expanding the scope of our impact to other areas, such as access to healthcare, education, clean water, and small holder agriculture. For example, Citi was recently the sole coordinator on a $75 million sustainable finance facility that will enable Greenlight Planet to expand access to energy in Kenya through affordable solar home systems. We also financed Banco Compartamos and CAME, the two largest microfinance institutions in Mexico, enabling them to reach a total of 175,000 small businesses and boost economic stability for low-income and underserved communities. Our approach to social finance projects like this is detailed in the new Citi Social Finance Framework.

Citi does business in more than 160 countries around the globe. Because we're global, we're local. Our Social Finance team and commitment exemplify how, together with our clients and partners, we can harness our global footprint and local relationships to maximize social impact and drive a more equitable future for all.

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