Standard Chartered launches Asia’s first sustainable deposit
Corporate and retail clients in Singapore can now access sustainable financing that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited is now offering a sustainable deposit (US dollar) for both corporate and individual clients in Singapore. Liquidity raised will be used to help finance activities that support Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Standard Chartered Bank launched the world’s first sustainable deposit for European investors in May 2019, with a positive reaction from the market. Every dollar deposited will be referenced against sustainable assets that support the SDGs.
With the launch in Singapore, clients in this part of the world can play a part in addressing some of the world’s biggest long-term threats including, but not limited to, climate change, financial exclusion, and lack of access to health and education.
The UN estimates US$2.5 trillion is needed per year to achieve the SDGs in developing countries alone. The public sector or bank lending alone cannot close this funding gap. This presents a pressing need – and an opportunity – to diversify sources of funding and unlock private capital.
“While green deposits – dedicated to renewable energy – are increasing in popularity, this is the first time any bank has launched a deposit product linked to sustainability and the SDGs. The sustainable deposit offers both retail and corporate clients an opportunity to address global challenges such as poverty and inequality in some of the world’s fastest growing economies,” says Patrick Lee, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Singapore.
Elaborating why the sustainable deposit has been made available to retail clients based in Singapore, Lee explains, “In corporate banking and asset management, we have seen a mainstreaming of environmental and social governance in risk management, financing decisions, and investment analysis. From as far back as 1997, Standard Chartered was one of the first banks to incorporate environment and social considerations in our risk management framework. This is now commonly a compliance requirement in more and more markets across the world.”
Standard Chartered’s 2019 Sustainable Investing Review survey showed that 68% of high-net-worth (HNW) investors want to help create a better future through sustainable investing. Similar to 2018, Singapore continues to have the highest number of HNW investors (43%) in Asia who are knowledgeable about sustainable investing, and this is expected to grow.
Lee says, “We are taking cue from our clients to make sustainable retail banking a reality, and have created the world’s first Sustainable Deposit for our individual clients.”
The sustainable deposit has been launched under the bank’s new Green and Sustainable Product Framework. Developed in collaboration with Sustainalytics, a provider of ESG and corporate governance research, this framework sets the basis for future sustainable products to help fund the SDGs across the bank’s footprint markets, especially in developing countries.
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