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Banking Sector calls for public-private coalition to accelerate green finance agenda

24th October 2019

Banking & Payment Federation Ireland (BPFI) has today called for the immediate establishment of a public-private coalition on green finance to accelerate the delivery by banks of sustainable banking products and encourage market demand.

Speaking at BPFI’s Banking on Sustainability conference Brian Hayes, CEO, BPFI outlined where the banking industry is currently at on the sustainability agenda and the collaborative action that is required both within the sector and by Government to ensure banks can deliver fully and quickly on their role in the Government’s Climate Action Plan.

“Banks in Ireland are very quickly coming to grips with understanding and managing climate risk on their books, looking at green finance products such as green mortgages, meeting investor demands and complying with new EU legislation in this area. The simple reality is that sustainability is not only central to business strategy but will increasingly become a critical driver of business growth.

However, in order to deliver on green finance on the scale and level required to make an impact, the sector is calling for a more collaborative approach in the form of a public-private coalition similar to the approach taken in the UK where the government has facilitated the bringing together of private finance, government departments, NGOs and academics to test and launch demonstratable green finance products.

Banks have a crucial role to play in the transition to a more sustainable future, acting as investors, capital providers and capital intermediaries. Government equally has an ambitious climate action plan to de-carbonise the economy. Working more collaboratively will enable us to fully understand what customers need in terms of sustainable finance and enable the delivery of competitively-priced and easy-to-use financial products and to promote market demand.”

Today’s conference focused on the implications of climate change for banking in Ireland and focused on three key areas including the incorporation of climate risk into banks’ risk management strategies, the government’s Climate Action Plan and best practice in how banks can integrate climate sustainability into their core business.

 

Notes: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.  Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has over 100 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Contact: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, 087 9016880 or jillian.heffernan@bpfi.ie

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