Financial Services Taskforce
At His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales’ invitation, executives from a number of the world’s largest banks have come together as members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s (SMI) Financial Services Taskforce (FSTF) to work on meaningful and actionable plans to help accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable future.
The FSTF 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.
Committed to change
The financial services industry plays an important role in this transition to a net-zero economy. Recognising this, FSTF member organisations are committed to mobilising finance, and working with customers to support their transition.
Latest news from the FSTF
The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero
On 21 April, as part of President Biden’s Climate Summit, a partnership involving Mark Carney and the COP26 Private Finance Hub, the UNFCCC Climate Action Champions and the Race to Zero campaign launched a coalition that brings together existing and new net zero finance initiatives into one sector wide strategic forum: The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ). Existing Alliances that are joining GFANZ include: the Net Zero Asset Owners Alliance (members include: Allianz, Axa and Zurich) and the Net Zero Asset Managers Alliance (members include: BlackRock, Fidelity and Vanguard).
GFANZ is intended to bring together members of the financial system (banks, asset owners, etc.) to help coordinate initiatives and provide consistency, cohesion, and strategic direction as we transition to net zero. It will also help broaden and raise ambition, solve cross-cutting challenges and identify the opportunities for the financial system to work together to support the whole-economy transition that is needed to achieve net zero.
As part of GFANZ’s launch a new industry-led, UN-Convened Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) has also launched as a sub-stream of GFANZ to complement the already in existence Asset Owners Alliance and the Asset Managers Alliance. The NZBA, co-launched by the Financial Services Taskforce – with 9 out of the 11 FSTF member banks signing up to join the NZBA at launch initiated by HRH the Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative – provides a platform to help shape the agenda pre-COP26.
Brian Moynihan, Co-Chair of the SMI and Chairman and Chief Executive of Bank of America, said:
This commitment to net-zero by the SMI financial services leaders is an example of the leadership that the CEOs of SMI companies can generate by working together. We will work closely with CEOs from other industry groups and others to continue to drive the other SMI priorities established by His Royal Highness in the Terra Carta earlier this year.
Noel Quinn, Chair of SMI Financial Sector Taskforce and Group Chief Executive of HSBC, said:
A commitment to financing the transition to net zero is essential. It’s important that the banking sector is committed to providing the financial support needed to help customers on that transition. But we have to establish a robust and transparent framework for monitoring progress against that objective and we want to set that standard for the banking industry. Industry-wide collaboration is essential in achieving that goal. I’m delighted that banks from the SMI Financial Services Taskforce have joined forces to establish the Net Zero Banking Alliance.
The Financial Services sector has a vital role to play as a catalyst and driver for change across other industries. I am delighted that the Financial Services Taskforce has come together under the SMI umbrella to identify ways to set our planet on a fundamentally more sustainable trajectory.
Letter of Intent from the FSTF
In coordination with other SMI taskforces, the FSTF will focus its attention on the following areas ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November 2021:
Net-zero carbon emissions: Building on the ongoing efforts of its members and the broader sector, the FSTF will look to define a credible pathway for how banks can achieve net zero. In partnership with our clients and external stakeholders, the group will also work to advance industry best practices, engage across industries to help accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy, and report publicly on progress of this work in the lead up to COP26.
Accelerating investment into sustainable infrastructure: The FSTF aims to accelerate the flow of private investment into sustainable infrastructure projects. The group will identify and recommend initiatives and solutions that will remove barriers and can scale investment into sustainable finance projects around the world.
Climate solutions: Carbon markets, coupled with overall emission reductions, are a critical component in order to achieve a net-zero economy. Building on the work of the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets, the FSTF will 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.
Significant work is already underway in many of these areas. The FSTF will look to build on and promote such efforts, aiming to accelerate the pace of change and deliver ambitious and meaningful progress.
The FSTF will keep national and global policy and decision-makers updated on its activities throughout the year.
As His Royal Highness recently underscored, ‘the clock is ticking’. COP26 marks a pivotal moment in the fight against climate change. We are committed to playing our part.
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 Taskforce is committed to accelerating efforts within the banking sector, recognising its catalytic role across all industries, to move towards a net-zero economy.
Group Chief Executive
Chairman and CEO
President and Incoming CEO
Global Head of Green Investment Group
Group Chief Executive
For roundtable and taskforce enquiries please contact, Joe Murphy, Chief Industry Officer, Sustainable Markets Initiative:
For media enquiries please contact Laura Round, Communications Director, Sustainable Markets Initiative:
Telephone: +44 7 543 759 844