To propel its push into emerging markets focused on sustainable financing, Standard Chartered, an international bank listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as India’s Bombay and National Stock Exchanges, has created a new sustainable finance banking team.
The team will lead all of Standard Chartered’s business activities in the area of impact investing and renewable energy. The team will create a bank-wide sustainable finance strategy and develop new products and solutions, further incorporate environmental, social and governance considerations into banking decisions, and identify sustainable finance opportunities for clients.
The sustainable finance team will be operational by January 1, 2019.
Standard Chartered’s expansion in the area comes as at a time when we are witnessing the demand from clients for sustainable finance grow rapidly.
“Following extensive consultation with many of our largest investor, insurance, public sector and development organization clients, we’ve identified a gap in the provision of emerging market focused sustainable finance products and assets,” said Simon Cooper, CEO, Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking.
“Last year we made a commitment to contribute to sustainable economic growth in the markets we are present. This included reaching our own target of providing $1 billion in financing microfinance institutions two-years early – helping 2.5 million people access loans – making significant progress to fund and facilitate $4 billion toward the clean technology sector between 2016-2020, and seeing strong growth in blended finance, where we are now the second largest commercial player in the world. These actions provide a much-needed benefit for the communities we operate in by creating products that not only do good, but inherently help people,” Simon added.
Standard Chartered is also contemplating on what role it can play with its clients in promoting greater disclosure on emissions and has set its new science-based emissions targets in August 2018.
Recently, Standard Chartered pulled the plug on any upcoming coal-fired power plants across the globe. The British finance company announced that it will stop providing financing for new coal-based power projects anywhere in the world. With this step, the company has joined an ever-increasing list of banks that have shown their commitment towards environment in the past, taking similar calls.
As reported by Mercom recently, public sector banks in India funded more coal projects than renewable projects in 2017. These findings were published in the latest report issued by the Center for Financial Accountability (CFA), a financial institution monitoring institute. In contrast, government-owned banks and private financial institutions invested more in renewable energy projects than coal-based projects, stated the report. Half of the top 10 lenders for 60 renewable power projects (both solar and wind) were commercial financial institutions.
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