The low-carbon economy is both an opportunity and one of the biggest challenges for the financial industry. Both sides of the coin were explained at the latest finalix forum. Exciting presentations by experts and lively panel discussions had a strong impact on our event.
«We don’t have any visionary bank.»
– Marco Tormen, WWF
According to a study by WWF Switzerland, presented by Marco Tormen, the largest Swiss retail banks are not doing particularly well in the area of sustainable finance. No bank takes the role of pioneer or visionary in the WWF Ranking 2020/2021. However, according to Tormen, the trend is positive, as many banks are increasingly addressing the issue and becoming more self-aware. One example of a measure that represents currently the focus of many banks is product innovation, especially from the perspective of generating a positive climate impact. Prof. Dr. Sebastian Utz from the University of St. Gallen explains in his presentation how banks can develop such products in order to be able to generate the best possible sustainability for each risk-return combination. Product innovation in the field of sustainability is thus an important approach to unlocking climate potential and at the same time making a tangible contribution to mitigating climate change.
«There is one issue that will fundamentally change the business of almost every bank – climate change.»– Dr. Marcus Fenchel, finalix
The challenges facing banks in the area of sustainability should not be underestimated. The presentation by Dr. Marcus Fenchel from finalix shows that almost all areas of the bank are affected by this transformation. Activities such as the development of a climate-compatible product range, the integration of climate risks into risk management or, in general, the training of employees in climate risks and impact are particularly high ranked on the agenda. The most important challenge for Dr. Fenchel, however, is that all areas of the Bank must understand and actively participate in the scope of this transformation process in the development of a low-emission economy.
The lively discussions between the panelists indicated that, at the moment, Zurich’s financial centre is not scoring high on the topic of sustainability and the low-emission economy. However, this does not mean by any means that the banks are doing particularly badly, but that there is a lot more to be done. This gives the Swiss financial centre the opportunity to distinguish itself strongly from the competition of other financial centres in the coming years.
Would you like to learn more? Then click here to get more impressions and watch the recording of our event.