Editor’s note: This article was first published on ESG Clarity Asia.
United Overseas Bank in Singapore is steering its clients’ wealth to sustainable investments.
According to a statement from the bank, it has integrated ESG considerations into its full suite of investment solutions, including trusts, bonds and structured products, offered to consumers across segments.
The ESG integration applies to third-party mutual funds offered to Personal Banking, Wealth Banking, Privilege Banking and Privilege Reserve clients, according to a Singapore-based spokeswoman of the firm.
She noted, however, that full ESG integration does not cover UOB’s Private Banking clients, but did not elaborate.
|Client segment||AUM threshold|
|Wealth Banking||S$100,000 ($73,470)|
The statement said the bank has developed a structured due diligence framework for the selection of solution providers to ensure that they demonstrate commitment to addressing ESG risks and opportunities.
For example, solution providers must have operationalised ESG policies and processes in place and/or adopt or align to globally-recognised standards from the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI), Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
ESG production traction
The bank added that demand for ESG or sustainable products has increased.
The year-to-date transaction value as of the end of September has exceeded that for the whole of 2019, according to the statement. In total, UOB has managed close to S$200m in ESG product transactions for its customers as of the end of September.
The bank’s transaction data reiterates the findings of its UOB Asean Consumer Sentiment Study, which found that nearly nine in 10 consumers in Singapore are interested to find out more about sustainable investing, will consider making a sustainable investment or already have sustainable investments in their portfolios, Jacquelyn Tan, head of group personal financial services at UOB, said in the statement.
The survey also shows that 90% of Singaporeans believe that sustainable investments provide financial returns while doing good.
UOB offers a range of ESG-focused products, including UOB Asset Management’s United Sustainable Credit Income Fund and the Allianz Global Sustainability Fund, as well as green bonds selected from the constituents of the Bloomberg MSCI Green Bond Index.
Also included are ESG-focused structured products based on three key themes, namely healthcare, technology and the European Green Deal, it added.
According to Tan, the bank will be rolling out more ESG solutions as demand increases.
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