Bromford and NatWest deliver inaugural ESG linked loan through new partnership
Bromford has secured its first sustainability-linked funding to support the delivery of energy efficient homes and allow it to reinvest savings into community-based projects.
We've agreed a £50m revolving credit facility with NatWest over a 10 year period. It is our longest revolving credit facility to date and our first debt facility to carry an ESG wrapper; meaning the margin on the loan will ratchet down if we successfully meet pre-agreed environmental targets related to the energy efficiency of our existing homes.
Head of treasury, Imran Mubeen, said: “Our latest business strategy sets out our aim to improve the energy efficiency of our homes. We aim to reduce our impact on the environment and combat the effects of fuel poverty, putting more money back into the pockets of our customers. We’ve also pro-actively sought to bring in new funding at sector leading rates to optimise our loan book. We are delighted to bring these two aspirations together on our latest funding deal.
“Working with NatWest has allowed us to deliver our inaugural sustainability-linked loan (SLL) and we commit to reinvesting the associated savings into initiatives like our in-house YouCan Foundation which awards grants to customers and local initiatives and further supports our communities.”
The news comes amid a growing focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors from investors, with a number of landlords such as L&Q and Peabody recently linking funding to social goals such as employment support and childcare qualifications. Last week Clarion Housing Group became the first in the sector to announce an SLL following two £100m loans with two overseas banks.
Mr Mubeen added: “Social housing providers like Bromford have a tremendous story to tell and we have consistently pursued activity on a number of ESG related themes including homelessness, the environment and community regeneration.
“The challenge is bringing these themes together in a coherent framework and capturing high quality data to support specific targets attached to loans. It was important to establish the loan on the most competitive terms without dilution for the ESG link as well as working with a key banking partner like NatWest who understand our business model and aspirations to deliver 13,000 new homes by 2028. We look forward to issuing more ESG linked debt in the near future; creating increasing synergy and a joined-up approach across our business activity to reduce the cost of new funding and bringing tangible benefits to the 100,000 customers living in our homes.”
Hedley Hadfield, director of housing finance, commercial banking at NatWest, added: “As one of the key social housing providers we provide funding to, we are delighted to retain and build upon our existing relationship with Bromford. This is our first ESG-linked loan to the housing sector – it’s a growing market for us and we’re thrilled to assist Bromford and other providers in meeting their sustainability targets.”
Bromford has now raised more than £1bn in new funding or the refinancing of legacy debt in under two years and last month had its A+ credit rating reaffirmed by S&P Global in recognition of its strong liquidity position.