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Corporate 06.09.2021

“Sustainable finance is our responsibility”

“Sustainable finance is our responsibility”

Climate change is now a reality, one that requires us make irreversible changes so that we use our planet’s resources much more sparingly.


In its brochure entitled “Sustainable Finance as an Opportunity for Wealth Management Banks”, which it is publishing today, the Association of Swiss Asset and Wealth Management Banks (ABG/VAV) reasserts our industry’s resolute commitment to this process. The association is also confident that the Swiss financial sector has all the advantages it needs, in terms of both its expertise and its operating environment, to become a leading hub for sustainable investment.

For several years now, sustainability and sustainable finance have been key concerns in our industry. As responsible businesses, asset and wealth management banks are therefore seeking to reduce their own carbon footprints and report transparently on those efforts, ABG/VAV notes. In addition, at a time when climate risk is synonymous with investment risk, banks have the responsibility to offer their clients investment solutions capable of making a measurable contribution to addressing the climate crisis and transforming the real economy. More than ever, the aim is to direct financial flows towards sustainable growth. “Sustainable finance is an opportunity for the wealth management banks and represents our contribution to the coming generations,” states ABG/VAV.

To monitor progress with respect to these priorities, ABG/VAV carried out a survey of its members in spring 2021. The results are set out in “Sustainable Finance as an Opportunity for Wealth Management Banks”, and illustrate the practical efforts made by sector players to advance the cause of sustainable finance.

Accordingly, the association’s members – which include UBP – agreed last year on 16 concrete priorities across three areas of action:

  • Transparency and reporting: recognised international standards (UN, G20, Financial Stability Board (FSB), EU) must be adopted and implemented rapidly. ABG/VAV members are also carrying out climate-related stress tests.
  • Investment and training solutions: asset and wealth management banks must provide basic training and continuing professional development for their staff members, so that they can support clients from the sustainability point of view. They must also offer diversified sustainable investment solutions to those clients.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions: banks must cut CO2 emissions as far as possible, in line with the Paris Agreement’s climate targets.

 

To monitor progress with respect to these priorities, ABG/VAV carried out a survey of its members in spring 2021. The results are set out in “Sustainable Finance as an Opportunity for Wealth Management Banks”, and illustrate the practical efforts made by sector players to advance the cause of sustainable finance.

CEO Guy de Picciotto made the following comments on UBP’s position with respect to ABG/VAV’s 16 targets:

I consider it our responsibility as financial intermediaries to play an active role in helping solve the world’s major environmental and societal issues.Our main lever in this effort is channelling our clients’ investments towards solutions that tackle those challenges. With this in mind, and in line with the 16 priorities set by the ABG/VAV, we have therefore designed an e-learning programme on sustainability for our employees, and developed a wide range of responsible investment strategies, including a franchise of impact funds. As a signatory to the UN PRI since 2012, we have also confirmed our commitment to climate issues by supporting the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), being convinced that increased transparency combined with a harmonisation of sustainable financial products is more crucial than ever. Our Bank is equally mindful of its own effect on the environment and we have set ourselves the goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 25% by 2025.

Find “Sustainable Finance as an Opportunity for Wealth Management Banks” online here.

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