Singapore has taken a further step in driving critical mass in sustainable finance, supporting corporates and Financial Institutions in their sustainability endeavours, according to HSBC. The comments follow the launch of a grant scheme to support green and sustainability-linked loans – first of its kind globally – announced by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).2
The provision of finance is a key driver in creating sustainable societies and future-proofing economies. Whilst green finance has accelerated at pace in recent years, with ASEAN issuance almost doubling in 2019 to USD13.4bn.3 Yet there is still a void when it comes to the use of dedicated sustainable finance by mainstream business and society.
Frances Chen, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC Singapore said: “The costs associated with issuing green loans have meant that they have typically remained the preserve of large corporates. The GSLS will support financial institutions’ endeavours in developing verified sustainable financing frameworks catered to SMEs, thereby allowing FIs to better support SMEs.”
Effective as of 1 January 2021, GSLS comprises two tracks4:
According to HSBC, the benefits will be wide-ranging and include:
Ms. Chen continued: “It’s great to see MAS taking the lead to widen the availability of sustainable finance through this scheme. The move further cements the Republic’s commitment to sustainability. Looking ahead, schemes like the GSLS will form a crucial part in supporting that ambition and we are proactively looking into how this can be leveraged.”
HSBC recently set out an ambitious plan to prioritise financing and investment that supports the transition to a net zero global economy – and helps to build a thriving, resilient future for society and businesses. At the heart of the plan is a pledge to reduce financed emissions from our portfolio of customers to net zero by 2050 or sooner, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.5
In Singapore, HSBC has delivered a total of USD1.2 billion of sustainable financing and investment as of end of 2019.
3Climate Bonds Initiative: ASEAN Green Finance State of the Market 2019
HSBC Group’s history in Singapore dates back to 1877 when its founding member, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, opened its first branch on the island. A qualifying full bank, HSBC in Singapore offers a comprehensive range of banking and financial services including retail banking and wealth management; commercial, investment and private banking; insurance; forfaiting and trustee services; securities and capital markets services. One of the earliest banks to establish in Singapore, HSBC today is a prominent player in Singapore's financial services sector serving the banking needs of multi-national corporations, home-grown businesses, private banking clients, institutional and retail customers. In May 2016, HSBC locally incorporated its retail banking and wealth management business in Singapore and established, HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited. HSBC Singapore has a retail network of 13 branches (comprising 10 dedicated HSBC Premier Centres, 2 HSBC Jade Centres and a Premier International Centre) and many locations across the island providing self-service terminals.
HSBC Holdings plcHSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 64 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of $2,956bn at 30 September 2020, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.