Standard Bank Group Adopts Equator Principles for Project Finance Initiatives

Johannesburg - 2 February 2009

Standard Bank Group today announced that it is an Equator Principles Financial Institution (EPFI), having adopted and integrated all 10 of the Equator Principles which relate to Project Finance. Projects financed by EPFIs are required to be socially responsible and reflect sound environmental management practices.

The Equator Principles are based on the International Finance Corporation (IFC) performance standards on social and environmental sustainability, and on the World Bank Group’s Environmental, Health and Safety general guidelines that are applied globally and across all industry sectors by EPFI banks. The principles apply to all new project finance deals above US$10m.

Ben Kruger, Chief Operating Officer of Standard Bank Group said: “Adopting the Equator Principles is another step in Standard Bank’s commitment to environmental sustainability. This set of principles allows us to ensure that we continue to remain focused on lending responsibly and supports the way in which we conduct our business with our customers across emerging markets, where we operate”.

Jonathan Wood, Global Head of Project Finance said: “We have seen how important environmental and social factors can be in the success of our projects. Managing these factors has become increasingly complex and the Equator Principles give us a tested and consistent framework for doing so.”

Nigel Beck, Environmental Manager, Project Finance said: “Standard Bank Group has integrated a system into its project finance life cycle that enables us to operate as an Equator Principles Financial Institution (EPFI). The integration of this is an important statement about our commitment to sustainable banking and adding value to our clients. Working with our global operations, we are in a unique position to bring tangible benefits to various stakeholders, through a consistent approach to environmental and social management. Adopting these principles is recognition of our role as a responsible lender looking towards a sustainable future.”

Press Release

Notes to editors:

Introduced in 2003, 65 international banks have signed up to the voluntary Equator Principles. For further information about the Equator Principles, please visit http://www.equator-principles.com

For more information contact:

Virginia Magapatona
Media Relations Manager
+27 11 631 3082
virginia.magapatona@standardbank/co.za