A total of 2.6 trillion in finance was provided by banks to activities with biodiversity risk in 2019.

Finance was classified as having either direct or indirect impacts on biodiversity.

  • The average finance provided by each bank was USD 52 billion, ranging from more than 210 billion for the largest investor to 1.3 billion for the smallest.
  • The largest proportion of finance was provided to the Infrastructure sector
  • None of the banks had sufficient policies or governance frameworks to mitigate this harm.

Overview of included banks by total finance at risk of having biodiversity impacts (million USD)

at risk in 2019
USANorth America6877,804
JapanAsia Pacific4384,256
ChinaAsia Pacific4196,276
CanadaNorth America2133,040
SingaporeAsia Pacific230,734
AustraliaAsia Pacific213,656
BrazilSouth America210,703
MalaysiaAsia Pacific210,360
IndiaAsia Pacific26,984
South AfricaAfrica23,428
IndonesiaAsia Pacific12,597
South KoreaAsia Pacific11,362

Top Ten Banks

Within the Top Ten Banks

  • Infrastructure received the largest proportion of the total finance provided, followed by metal and mineral mining, and fossil fuels
  • Tourism and the forestry sector accounted for the smallest proportion
  • Japanese banks provided significantly more finance to infrastructure and mining-related industries than their counterparts headquartered in Europe and the USA
  • The three European banks invested comparatively heavily in the food sector, while the US banks provided slightly more finance to companies within the transportation and
    logistics sector

Biodiversity Impact

In relation to the banks’ total assets

  • Banks in Africa and the Asia Pacific Region invested more heavily in industries linked to direct impacts than banks headquartered in North America or Europe
  • There was a near-even split between direct and indirect impact risks for South American banks
  • Banks in China exhibited particularly high levels of financing with risk of direct biodiversity impact (more than 80 per cent of all finance). This was eclipsed by banks in India and Russia but only one bank from each of these countries was included
  • The one South Korean bank included had the smallest risk of direct impacts but the highest risk of funding indirect impacts


Additional Regional and Sector Themes

  • On average, North American banks invested USD 126 billion each – 2.7 times the average USD 47 billion of finance provided by each European bank, and 3.5 times the average USD 36 billion provided by each of the Asian and Pacific banks
  • The highest percentage of loans and underwriting was allocated to infrastructure in four of the five geographic regions
  • In Africa, finance for mining of metals and minerals received more than a third of all investment. A similar level of finance was provided to fossil fuels. The remaining sectors received less than one per cent of the total loans
  • South American banks invested a much higher percentage in industries directly or indirectly linked to the global food system, as well as the forestry and non-food forest commodity sector
  • Banks in Europe and North America exhibited similar financing patterns to each other. However, North American banks invested significantly more in fossil fuels, while more European banks’ loans were linked to the food system.