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
Coalition of Banks Launches Guide for Industry's Transition to Net Zero
20th October 2021: The Prince of Wales’ Financial Services Task Force (FSTF) launches a Net Zero Practitioner’s Guide to help the banking industry adopt a consistent and transparent approach to supporting clients’ transition to net zero. The FSTF Practitioner’s Guide combines the knowledge and collective experience of 11 banks. The guide is designed to support the implementation of banks’ net zero commitments and meet the growing need for specificity.
The Role of Banks in Catalysing the Voluntary Carbon Markets
27th October 2021: Members of HRH’s Prince of Wales Financial Services Task Force (FSTF) today signal their collective support for the role of voluntary carbon credits as a critical tool to achieve a Net Zero economy.
In a paper published today, the taskforce announced its support for increasing investment and financing in activities that generate high quality carbon credits, as well as advocating their use as part of their clients’ science-aligned Net Zero strategies, where there are limited technologically or financially viable options to abate. This will involve working alongside and supporting existing initiatives such as the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM) and other industry initiatives.
The Financial Services Task Force Endorsement of FAST-Infra Sustainable Infrastructure Label
Members of the Sustainable Market Initiative’s Financial Services Taskforce (FSTF) recognise the role of banks in mobilising financing to advance the development of more sustainable infrastructure around the world. Members of the FSTF endorse the framework and criteria of the FAST-Infra Sustainable Infrastructure Label (‘SI Label’), launched during COP26, as an important part of the financing solution, helping to match the supply of capital with project demand. Alongside the FSTF, the framework and criteria of the SI Label has also been endorsed by other leading financial services coalitions whose combined assets under management are in the trillions.
Open letter of support – FAST-Infra label consultation
22 July 2021: The Sustainable Markets Initiative announces its strategic partnership with a new scheme, developed by the ‘FAST-Infra’ initiative (Finance to Accelerate the Sustainable Transition): designed to help close the trillion-dollar sustainable infrastructure gap. It is a priority workstream within the SMI’s Financial Services Task Force (alongside the Taskforce champions from the Asset Managers & Asset Owners and Insurance Taskforces).
As part of its work, FAST-Infra is developing a Sustainable Infrastructure Label (SI Label). This is intended to be a globally applicable label to designate infrastructure projects that fit within the sustainable infrastructure asset class through their positive contribution to sustainability criteria. The SI Label is currently under consultation, providing an opportunity for market participants to present feedback on the product’s suitability as a vehicle to transform sustainable infrastructure into a mainstream, liquid asset class. We call on all interested market participants to take part in the consultation process.
Details regarding the consultation are available here
The deadline for submitting comments for the consultation is 17:00UKT on Tuesday 31 August 2021.
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.
HRH The Prince of Wales
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
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.
Noel Quinn, Chairman of the FSTF and Group Chief Executive of HSBC
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
- Bank of America
Chairman and CEO
- BNP Paribas
President and Incoming CEO
- Sustainability, Research and Investment Solutions, Credit Suisse
- J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management
- Lloyds Banking Group
Group Chief Executive
- Macquarie Capital
Global Head of Green Investment Group
- NatWest Group
- Standard Chartered Bank
Group Chief Executive