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ESG Phenomenon: Standard Chartered Debuts Sustainable Deposits

Editorial Staff

3 December 2020

Standard Chartered Bank
Emerging markets lender (Singapore) has launched the Singapore Dollar (S$) Sustainable Time Deposit, the first local currency deposit product accessible to both retail and private investors.

Depositors into the scheme can access Standard Chartered’s global footprint of investments which help finance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs), such as COVID-19 healthcare, food security, renewable energy, access to water and water management, and climate change adaptation, the lender said.

To ensure that deposits are going to where they are intended, deposits will be governed by StanChart’s Green and Sustainable Product Framework which was developed in partnership with ESG research provider Sustainalytics.

CEO Patrick Lee said the bank’s 2020 sustainable investing review showed that nearly four in 10 Singapore investors are considering allocating 5 to 15 per cent into sustainable investments over the next three years; and 50 per cent of affluent clients and HNWIs in Singapore were either “interested” or “extremely interested” in sustainable investing.

“We are constantly looking for ways to meet our clients' needs, so we are curating more sustainable investing solutions that we can deliver both financial performance as well as sustainability outcomes,” Lee said.

He also noted the trillions needed to fulfil the 2030 SDGs and the role that emerging markets have to play. “We believe that emerging markets have the greatest opportunity to leapfrog to low-carbon technology, to transition to more sustainable business practices and create good sustainable jobs. This potential cannot be fulfilled when emerging markets are bearing the brunt of this financing shortfall,” Lee said.

The bank's survey of 300 top global investors' focus has revealed that most of their investment (64 per cent) goes to developed markets such as Europe and North America; while Asia attracts just 22 per cent. Investments in the Middle East, Africa and South America make up just 2 per cent, 3 per cent and 5 per cent respectively of the assets under management.

With a strong footprint in emerging markets, the bank has been asserting itself in the sustainable investing space.