Do environmental, social and governance performance affect the financial performance of banks? A cross-country study of emerging market banks
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionManagement of Environmental Quality (MEQ). 2019, 30 (6), 1331-1344. 10.1108/MEQ-08-2018-0155
Purpose Earlier firms were evaluated mostly from their financial performance perspective, but with the increasing attention to sustainability goals, environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of firms became key concerns to stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects of ESG performance of banks on their financial performance, in the context of emerging markets. Design/methodology/approach This study employs the generalised method of moments technique for estimation purpose due to the dynamic nature of the data and to correct for endogeneity. This study uses the ESG performance data of 93 emerging market banks from 2015 to 2018, available in Asset4 ESG database of Refinitiv, formerly known as Thompson Reuters. The accounting and financial data are collected from Refinitiv Datastream database. Findings The findings indicate a positive association of emerging market banks’ environmental and social performance with their financial performance, but governance performance does not influence financial performance. Originality/value While many studies exist on the association of ESG concerns of an organisation with their financial profitability, the literature on in the context of banking is still limited. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that examines the effect of ESG practices of banks on their financial performance in the context of emerging economies.