Ninety-five percent of Taiwan’s financial firms think that sustainable finance would benefit businesses and enhance the stability of the nation’s financial systems, the results of a survey conducted by HSBC Bank (Taiwan) Ltd (匯豐台灣商銀) and the Taiwan Business Council for Sustainable Development showed on Tuesday.
The survey of 151 local financial firms in the banking, insurance, and securities and investment sectors was conducted in October and November last year.
Ninety percent of respondents have incorporated environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their decisionmaking process, it found.
Of those, 48 percent have established formal policies to require employees to take ESG factors into consideration when making investment decisions, while 24 percent consider ESG issues in some cases and 18 percent have no such policy.
Fifty-five percent of securities and investment consulting companies have established formal policies, which ranked first in the three financial sectors, followed by 50 percent of banks and 30 percent of insurers, the survey showed.
However, among the financial firms that have incorporated ESG factors into their investment decisionmaking process, only 33.3 percent think they are skilled in analyzing ESG factors, while other firms said it is difficult or costly to gain enough information on ESG, the survey found.
A lack of quantitative information on ESG, difficulty in verifying the information and disclosure of superfluous information were the main challenges for the respondents, the survey said.
Eighty-six percent of respondents believe that government policies and regulations were the major drivers for financial firms to implement sustainable finance.
However, implementation would not accelerate unless senior management supports the policies and a company has enough professionals, the poll said.
According to the survey, 48.9 percent of respondents have established goals to boost their sustainable finance business, with some focusing on responsible investment and others concentrating on developing ESG-related products, such as ESG bonds or funds.
Ninety-five percent of securities and investment consulting companies expect sustainable investment to increase, compared with 93.9 percent of banks and 92.3 percent of insurers, the poll found.
Overall, more than 60 percent of respondents thought that boosting sustainable finance would help improve their financial performance, the survey showed.
“Sustainable finance is one of HSBC’s global development goals, and shows great potential in the local stock market,” HSBC Taiwan chief executive officer Adam Chen (陳志堅) said in a statement.
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