Credit Suisse investor rebellion over climate action grows ahead of annual meeting

The brand of Swiss financial institution Credit score Suisse is seen at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland March 24, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photograph

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  • Aviva Traders to again shareholder decision
  • Requires sooner motion to chop fossil gasoline finance
  • Group now 31-strong, with mixed $5 trln in belongings

ZURICH, April 25 (Reuters) – A gaggle of Credit score Suisse (CSGN.S) traders pushing for sooner local weather motion on the Swiss financial institution has greater than doubled in measurement, elevating stress on its board forward of its annual shareholder assembly on Friday.

Credit score Suisse, together with different main banks, is beneath stress from traders to cease financing fossil gasoline improvement to restrict local weather change and to assist companies to shift away from a high-carbon economic system.

Eleven Credit score Suisse shareholders initially filed a resolution in March urging the financial institution to chop publicity to fossil gasoline belongings. This group, with a collective $2.4 trillion in belongings, included Europe’s largest asset supervisor, Amundi (AMUN.PA). learn extra

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Credit score Suisse moved to set new targets to cut back emissions linked to its mortgage e book, however the traders stated they didn’t go far sufficient. learn extra

Now, different shareholders have joined the group planning to again the local weather decision, together with Authorized & Basic Funding Administration (LGEN.L) and Aviva Traders (AV.L). There at the moment are 31 traders, with mixed belongings beneath administration of greater than $5 trillion, which have pre-declared their help.

Different backers embrace Switzerland’s largest pension fund BVK, Danish investor Sparinvest, Swedish insurer Folksam, sustainable investor Grünfin and UK public pension traders Northern LGPS and Border to Coast Pensions Partnership.

The necessity for faster motion to rein in emissions has been rammed dwelling by U.N. local weather scientists who stated the window for motion to forestall the worst results of world warming was quickly closing. learn extra

“Given the systemic danger posed by local weather change, it is important that companies reminiscent of Credit score Suisse take swift motion to make sure they’re a part of the answer,” stated Jane Firth, head of accountable funding at Border to Coast.

“By supporting this shareholder decision, we hope to see Credit score Suisse take tangible steps to make sure its disclosures and targets cowl all capital market exercise, making certain it’s on a timeline in line with the Paris settlement.”

The decision, coordinated by accountable funding NGO ShareAction and the Ethos Basis, with the help of the Swiss Affiliation for Accountable Investments, would be the first such shareholder decision to be put to a Swiss firm.

“We applaud the traders which have as we speak pre-declared their help for the shareholder-led decision on local weather danger at Credit score Suisse,” stated Jeanne Martin, senior marketing campaign supervisor, ShareAction.

“Voting for this decision sends a powerful sign to the financial institution that traders anticipate it to publish a science-based local weather technique that covers all its essential financing actions. We name on different traders to observe swimsuit.”

Switzerland’s second-biggest financial institution will face scrutiny on a number of fronts at Friday’s assembly, with proxy advisers recommending shareholders reject the board’s request to discharge managers from legal responsibility for the 2020 monetary 12 months over a collection of expensive scandals. One other shareholder is group looking for a particular audit of the financial institution’s actions. learn extra

The financial institution has since additionally warned it would report a first-quarter loss on Wednesday. learn extra

($1 = 0.7862 kilos)($1 = 0.9322 euros)

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Reporting by Simon Jessop and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi. Enhancing by Jane Merriman

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