MuniFin publishes the first Nordic SSA social bonds framework and launches a new social finance product

MuniFin has published the first social bonds framework in Finland. On 13 February 2020, MuniFin also launched a social financing product for its customers. This financing will be funded with social bonds.

With this launch, MuniFin continues to be the forerunner in offering sustainable finance products in Finland and in the Nordics.

MuniFin’s Social Bonds Framework is aligned with the Social Bond Principles published by ICMA and ISS ESG has provided a second opinion of the framework.

Social finance project selection is based on MuniFin’s Social Bonds Framework and final approval is made by the Social Evaluation Team. The team consists of two independent experts and one MuniFin representative.

Financing Finland’s welfare state

MuniFin is the largest provider of financing to municipalities and the social housing sector in Finland. Municipalities play a key role in maintaining Finland’s welfare state, as they are responsible for the majority of service production, including education and healthcare. Social housing organisations on the other hand ensure that affordable housing is available. They also aim to tackle social issues like homelessness and social exclusion.

The eligible project categories that have been selected for MuniFin’s Social Bonds Framework are in the core of MuniFin’s customer finance business. Eligible project categories under the Use of Proceeds include housing, welfare and education.

The projects have to meet additional criteria in order to be eligible for the Social Finance product. In the selection process, special emphasis is placed on targeting the most vulnerable parts of the population and areas where investments by the municipalities will likely have the greatest impact on the area’s vitality.

Social financing funded by social bonds

MuniFin plans to issue an inaugural benchmark sized Social Bond in the second half of 2020 and intends to make it an integral part of the annual funding program going forward. MuniFin’s themed bond issuances, consisting of green and social bonds, will account for roughly 10–15% of new funding annually.

– Corporate responsibility is in the very DNA of MuniFin. We strive to be in the forefront in the responsibility of our products and services, processes and operations. It seemed only natural to take this new step in broadening our sustainable product offering, says Joakim Holmström, the Head of Capital Markets at MuniFin.

MuniFin was the first credit institution in Finland to launch green finance for environmental investments in 2016. In the same year, the agency also issued Finland’s inaugural green bond.

Read more about MuniFin Social Bonds

Information on social bonds, MuniFin Social Bonds Framework and a ISS ESG’s second party opinion on the framework are available at our Social Bonds site >

Further information

Joakim Holmström, Head of Capital Markets
tel. +358 50 444 3638

Soili Helminen, Manager, Communications and CSR
tel. +359 400 204 853