An overwhelming majority (90 per cent) of issuers and investors see sustainable finance as ‘important’ or ‘very important’, even as they tackle the challenges of coronavirus.

That’s the finding of HSBC’s Sustainable Financing and Investing Survey 2020, which polled 2,000 capital market participants on their attitudes to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Around 30 per cent of investors and 40 per cent of companies surveyed even said the pandemic has reinforced their commitment to ESG.

The findings come just days after HSBC announced an ambitious plan to prioritise financing and investment that supports the transition to a net zero global economy.

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In a further shift revealed by the survey, investors now cite lower risks or improved returns (49 per cent) as their leading reason for focusing on ESG – ahead of other factors including the expectations of wider society (43 per cent) or regulators (41 per cent), or because they think it’s the right thing to do (38 per cent).

Daniel Klier, Global Head of Sustainable Finance, HSBC, said: “Sustainable finance has moved into the mainstream of the capital markets. ESG deals are increasingly being judged as a traditional asset rather than a reflection of commitment to social and environmental issues.

“This is an optimistic development, as ultimately the long-term success of the market will be shaped by the ability of ESG investments to compete with other traditional options on risk and return.”

To read the full Sustainable Financing and Investing Survey 2020, visit the Global Banking & Markets website (opens in new window) (opens in new window)

HSBC’s focus on sustainable investing

With clients increasingly seeing ESG as core to their long-term success, HSBC continues to expand our capabilities to support them.

We provide tailored advice, expertise and financing ideas through a dedicated ESG Solutions unit, launched in July 2020. Our wide-ranging climate plan, announced last week, includes an ambition to provide between USD750 million and USD1 trillion in finance by 2030 to help customers cut carbon emissions.

We have won widespread recognition for our expertise in this area. In September 2020 we were named Investment Bank of the Year for Sustainability by The Banker magazine, and the World’s Best Bank for Sustainable Finance by Euromoney magazine.

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