Trowers & Hamlins advises Bromford on groundbreaking sustainability-linked loan facility
International law firm Trowers & Hamlins has advised Bromford on a new sustainability-linked loan (SLL) facility with SMBC Bank International plc which is believed to be the first SLL to link to gender pay gap.
The landmark loan is believed to be the sector's first sustainability-linked loan that has a margin tied to governance related KPIs. Should Bromford meet the targets, which address the group's governance rating and gender pay gap performance, they will benefit from a lower interest rate on the loan, with the savings being reinvested in community projects to support and empower women.
In recent years, housing associations have taken an increasing interest in incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, however, it is believed that Bromford's new loan with SMBC bank is the first time that 'governance' has been used as part of an SLL within the UK social housing sector.
Sarah Gooden, partner in the Trowers banking and finance team, commented:
"We are delighted to have advised Bromford on another landmark loan facility. In this current climate ESG factors are becoming an essential asset to housing associations, so we are pleased to have been involved in facilitating the first loan that deploys governance metrics. This once again highlights that Trowers are at the forefront of sustainable finance in the social housing sector."
Imran Mubeen, Head of Treasury Planning and Property at Bromford, said:
“We are delighted to have partnered with Trowers on another innovate and pioneering funding deal. The Trowers team once again brought to bear their expert knowledge in the ESG and funding space to ensure the SLL wrapper stood up commercially and then seamlessly documented in the loan agreement.
This deal builds on the our first SLL with Natwest, which Trowers also advised on. We see these deals as the perfect way to create a broad community of interest across Bromford to focus on the things that really matter to us. This deal is about more than just savings; it’s about ensuring that we pro-actively aim to reduce gender pay gap and that we continue to put in place the right reporting and new initiatives to create a workplace in which everyone can thrive, irrespective of their gender. The savings we do generate will be re-invested into projects which support and empower in our communities. If enough organisations do more of this, we can meaningfully contribute to important societal goals which will enrich us all.”