The Federal Council brings the financial industry to the roundtable

The financial industry accepted Ueli Maurer's invitation to discuss the opportunities and developments of Sustainable Finance for asset management in Switzerland. The goal is to expand the competitiveness of the Swiss financial center.

Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer hosted the leaders of Swiss banks, asset managers and financial sector associations in Bern on June 7, 2022, for a roundtable discussion on sustainability in finance, according to the State Secretary for International Financial Matters (SIF). The focus of the meeting were the opportunities and developments in sustainable finance for Swiss asset management.

Expansion of competitiveness in the financial center

Maurer had stressed that the Swiss financial center was already playing a pioneering role internationally in the area of sustainable finance. However, this position has to be expanded consistently. The aim must be to create new jobs with sustainable finance and to make a significant contribution in achieving the sustainability and climate goals. The Swiss financial center should be a credible hub for investors, who want to make a positive contribution in reaching sustainability goals.

Avoiding greenwashing through transparency in asset management

The invited CEOs and board chairpersons of large banks, private and cantonal banks as well as asset managers and associations then exchanged views on sustainability topics, directly related to asset management, as SIF further reports. These include transparency at the institution level, in investment products, the avoidance of greenwashing (faking green corporate activities), and the handling of financial climate and biodiversity risks.

Expansion of sustainability consulting is on the agenda

Topics, which are indirectly related to asset management, such as the importance of CO2 offsets and the role of institutional investors in the expansion of sustainability consulting were also discussed, SIF said,.

Finally, the roundtable also serves to define the next steps and goals for consolidating the Swiss financial center's claim to leadership in the area of sustainability.

Business leaders form an alliance for better governance and sustainability

Sustainability efforts are trending at the corporate level. Just recently, an alliance of CEOs launched the 'Swiss Boards Alliance for Agenda 2030' (SBA2030). Their goal is that the boards of member companies take a high level of responsibility and promote sustainable development. In doing so, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be strengthened through significant commitments.

The SBA2030 is an initiative launched by Jonathan Normand, founder and CEO of B Lab Switzerland and André Hoffmann, vice president of Roche and co-founder of InTent. The alliance is sponsored by B Lab Switzerland under the auspices of B Lab Switzerland's Business Council Committee. By the end of 2022, the goal is to bring on boards of at least 50 large Swiss companies from different industries, sizes and cantons, to facilitate their alignment with the SDGs, and train their boards to better understand sustainability.