22 January 2020

HSBC launches Green Deposit Account for corporate clients in Singapore

HSBC Singapore today launched the HSBC Green Deposit Account1. Available to corporate clients and accepting SGD and USD, deposits will finance green initiatives such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and biodiversity conservation, providing a simple way for entities to support environmentally-beneficial projects.

Clients will receive a quarterly, portfolio-level view of how their funds have been deployed to support green projects, and they will be able to manage their green account as simply as a regular deposit account.

David Koh, Head of Global Liquidity and Cash Management, HSBC Singapore, commented: “Feedback amongst clients looking to embark on the sustainability path is that they’re often uncertain how to best make a positive impact or unsure of directions to take. The Green Deposit Account enables companies to directly apportion cash savings into projects which directly benefit the environment. Given that liquidity is critical for business operations, this is a simple and immediate solution for any corporate to begin or widen their sustainability strategy.”

The need for investment in sustainable innovation and solutions is particularly necessary in Southeast Asia given the region’s susceptibility to climate change, the increased depletion of natural resources and increased level of natural disasters. For example, Lloyd of London estimates that USD$22.5 billion of GDP is at risk from flooding in Southeast Asian cities alone.2 If left unaddressed, the Asian Development Bank forecasts that climate change could reduce Southeast Asia’s GDP by 11% by the end of the century.3

Corporates across Southeast Asia are responding to the issue but are grappling with how to go about it. A recent HSBC survey4 revealed that sustainability is moving up the agenda of Singapore’s businesses, yet that they are simultaneously seeking support to navigate the options available to them given the lack of established metrics:

  • 64% of companies surveyed stated they had a role to play in delivering the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals5, just higher than the global average.
  • At the same time, looking ahead to 2025, companies are looking to governments and regulators for more consistent sustainability metrics. Firms say they are struggling to find the time and funding needed to advance their sustainability agendas.

Diane S. Reyes, Global Head of Liquidity and Cash Management, HSBC, said: “As a Group we’ve made our sustainable finance goals clear, and Green Deposits are further proof of our desire to enable the transition to a low-carbon economy, and to help clients play their part too.”

In November 2017 HSBC made five sustainable finance commitments, including providing USD100 billion of sustainable financing by 2025. USD36.7 billion has so far been facilitated.6

Disclaimer and sources

1 Deposit Insurance Scheme: Singapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$75,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law. Foreign currency deposits, dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured.
2 ‘City Risk Index 2015-2025’, Lloyd’s of London, 2015
3 Asian Development Bank “Climate Change Losses for Southeast Asia Well Above Previous Estimate”, December 2015
4 www.business.hsbc.com/trade-navigator
5 SDGs are 17 interconnected themes, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, as a way to end poverty, protect the planet and achieve peace and prosperity by 2030.
6 https://www.hsbc.com/our-approach/building-a-sustainable-future/sustainable-finance

This article was prepared by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Singapore Branch (“HSBC”).

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