28 Oct 2020

NAB arranges Australian-first 100% green asset backed bond to drive down household energy costs

National Australia Bank (NAB) has priced an Australian-first $190 million Climate Bond certified 100% green asset-backed securitisation from Brighte, aimed at helping Australian families save on their energy bills.

The issuance is a debut for Brighte and the 43rd sustainability themed bond [1] NAB has brought to market since 2014.

Proceeds from the bond issuance will be used to finance solar energy related assets, including residential solar PV, battery storage, solar hot water and other devices for the benefit of thousands of Australian households. This is expected to deliver over 360,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions savings per annum, equivalent to the electricity consumed by over 65,000 average Australian homes over a year.

NAB Group Executive, Corporate & Institutional Banking, David Gall said the bond marked another important milestone in NAB’s long-standing relationship with Brighte.

“We’ve been on the journey with Brighte right from the beginning, supporting them to accelerate growth and evolve from a start-up to a mature business,” Mr Gall said.

“Backing Brighte is a great example of how large business can embrace innovation in both financial services and technology by working in collaboration with start-up companies.  Last year, we pledged $2 billion in financing for emerging technology companies and there is no better example than Brighte of a fintech innovator.”

Brighte, an Australian digital-first finance provider, makes it easier for companies that offer residential solar PV, batteries and home improvements to provide their customers with affordable finance solutions.

Founder and CEO Katherine McConnell said the new asset backed securitisation was an important milestone for the company.

“The green bond issuance, which is both an Australian first and a first for Brighte, has ensured we can execute on our strategy of building a sustainable, 100-year business,” Ms McConnell said.

“This is an exciting and important milestone in the Brighte journey, as we can offer the products our customers love more cost-effectively, providing more competitive products to our partners and supporting their business growth.

“We’re delighted to work again with the NAB team, who have been an integral part of our journey from Fintech start-up to mature lending platform.  They’ve been successful in demonstrating the crucial role of banks in helping build green opportunities and expanding the green economy in Australia.”

Brighte have secured a Aa2 (sf) rating from Moody’s for the Class A senior notes, which is a significant achievement on its debut issuance.  This is indicative of the high quality and low risk of Brighte’s loan book and positions Brighte as a mature lending and payments platform, representing the highest industry and regulatory standards.

The notes issued by Brighte are certified in compliance with standards set by the London-based Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) and aligned with the International Capital Market Association’s (ICMA) Green Bond Principles. They also contribute towards meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sean Kidney, CEO Climate Bonds Initiative, said Brighte and NAB had brought an innovative financing model to the market.

“Australia has enormous potential to marry solar and storage combinations at both consumer and national level. This new transaction from Brighte points to that future,” Mr Kidney said.

[1] Includes labelled green, social, sustainability and sustainability linked bonds. This is the 10th green, social, sustainability or sustainability linked bond NAB and BNZ have brought to market so far in 2020 as at 25/10/2020.

***Photograph: Supplied to NAB from Brighte (and featuring Brighte CEO Katherine McConnell)

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