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HSBC chief distances himself from banker’s climate change comments

HSBC executives have distanced themselves from comments about the financial risks of climate change voiced by the head of global responsible investments in the bank’s asset management division.

CEO Noel Quinn and Nono Matos, head of HSBC’s wealth and personal banking business, criticized Stuart Kirk’s comments in which he Blame the central bankers And policymakers exaggerate the risks in an attempt to “take out the next guy’s hyperbola.”

While the bank and its senior executives criticized the speech delivered at the Financial Times conference, its topic and content were internally summed up before Kirk spoke on Thursday, according to people with knowledge of event planning.

Presentation title – “Why investors should not worry about climate risk” – Agreed two months earlier and published on the website prior to the event.

“I do not agree – at all – with the comments made in [this] “FT’s moral money sums up this week,” Kevin told LinkedIn over the weekend. “They are inconsistent with HSBC’s strategy and do not reflect the views of HSBC’s senior management or HSBC Asset Management.”

He added: “We have a lot of work to do, and I’m determined our team will not distract from last week’s comments.”

Matos, whose division includes the asset management business, said: “In full agreement with Noel Quinn – the transition to net zero is the highest. [sic] It is important to us and we will strive for ways to help our customers in this journey. “

HSBC has come under pressure in recent years from activists and shareholders for its role in financing companies with significant greenhouse gas emissions.

Kirk’s comments on climate change – which provoked outrage from environmentalists – were particularly embarrassing for the bank as it sponsored the conference and previously at the event site as a strategic partner.

Stuart Kirk’s comments on climate change have angered environmentalists © Claudio Papapietro

During the speech, Kirk said that throughout his 25-year career in the finance industry “there has always been some crazy job telling me about the end of the world,” comparing the climate crisis to a Y2K bug that predicted a widespread computer crash in the early millennium.

“Unfounded, shrill, partisan, self-serving, apocalyptic warnings are always wrong,” he wrote in a slide that accompanied his presentation.

Kirk did not respond to requests for further comment.

Last month, e FT revealed Because the Advertising Standards Authority, the British watchdog, has formulated a recommendation that it believes HSBC misled customers in two advertisements by selectively promoting its green initiatives, omitting information on its continued funding for companies with significant greenhouse gas emissions.

A year ago, e The bank is under pressure On its climatic commitments by a group of investors, but led a shareholder revolt at its annual meeting by strengthening its plans in line with international agreements to limit global warming.

However, the speed with which HSBC and other lenders have pledged to act, particularly in funding coal and mining power, has disappointed some activists and ESG funds and they continue to push for change.

HSBC chief distances himself from banker’s climate change comments Source link HSBC chief distances himself from banker’s climate change comments

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