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Islands well-placed to strengthen commitment to sustainable finance

Islands well-placed to strengthen commitment to sustainable finance

Tuesday 01 December 2020

Islands well-placed to strengthen commitment to sustainable finance


Capital market issuers in Europe are attaching greater importance to sustainable finance than a year ago, and the Channel Islands are well-positioned to play a "key part" in supporting that trend.

The HSBC Sustainable Financing and Investing Survey 2020 found that the Covid-19 pandemic has strengthened belief in the need for sustainability for more than a third (36%) of European issuers.

77% also say the pandemic has either reinforced their commitment to Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) or made them realise they had previously paid too little attention to the social component of ESG.

European issuers are also now the most committed in the world to environmental and social issues, according to the survey, with 95% saying these issues are ‘very important’ (76%) or ‘somewhat important’ (19%), compared to 93% globally. 

The survey also found that Europe leads the way when it comes to investors feeling a responsibility to avoid investments with negative impacts on environment and society – 61% of European investors feel this way, compared to 53% globally. 

Aline Ayotte, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man, said: “Guernsey and Jersey have established themselves as leading players in the cross-border investment funds space right in the heart of Europe, administering collectively approaching £600bn of assets."

"With Europe at the forefront of international efforts to fight climate change and looking to act as a world leader in sustainable finance, the islands have a significant opportunity to support issuers and investors in the transition to a net zero global economy.”

Daniel Klier, HSBC's Global Head of Sustainable Finance, added: “Sustainable finance has moved into the mainstream of the capital markets faster than we expected, and as that happens, ESG deals are increasingly being judged as a traditional asset rather than a reflection of commitment to social and environmental issues. 

“This is an optimistic development, as ultimately the long-term success of the market will be shaped by the ability of ESG investments to compete with other traditional options on risk and return.”

Pictured top: Aline Ayotte, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

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