Products of Change


Tue 23 Feb 2021 | by Michelle Urquhart

Big banks join financial services task force

Executives from several of the world’s largest banks have come together as members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Financial Services Task Force to work on net-zero plans for the investment sector. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos in January 2020. The SMI is a network of global business leaders and others committed to creating truly sustainable markets through the integration of natural, social, and financial capital. The new Financial Services Task Force operates as an industry sub-group of the SMI, and is chaired by Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive of HSBC. Its members are drawn from across the banking industry, and include Bank of America, Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas, Citi, Coutts, Credit Suisse, Lloyds, Macquarie, NatWest Group and Standard Chartered Bank. In coordination with other SMI Task Forces, the Financial Services Task Force will focus its attention on the following areas ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November 2021: 1. Net-zero carbon emissions: Building on the ongoing efforts of its members and the broader sector, the task force will look to define a credible pathway for how banks can achieve net zero. 2. Accelerating investment into sustainable infrastructure: The task force aims to accelerate the flow of private investment into sustainable infrastructure projects. 3. Climate solutions: Support the development of a deep and liquid global market for carbon credits, generated by high quality projects, and provide a clear collective demand signal that finance stands ready to accelerate the flow of capital towards all forms of emissions reduction, avoidance and removal projects globally. Chairman of the Financial Services Task Force and group chief executive of HSBC, Noel Quinn said on behalf of the Task Force: “Climate change is bigger than any institution or industry. In coming together, we recognise the critical role our organisations play in the fight against it. The Financial Services Task Force is committed to accelerating efforts within the banking sector, recognising its catalytic role across all industries, to move towards a net-zero economy.”