HSBC’s first green deposit account targets Singapore and UK corporates
HSBC launched its green deposit account in the first week of February with a deposit from a building materials company.
Slowly, often imperceptibly, the financial sector’s green agenda grinds into gear. It is worthy and righteous, yet it can feel like pulling teeth. HSBC is the latest global bank to hit the news with its green deposit account, offered to corporate clients by its office in Singapore, which will accept deposits in US and Singaporean dollars, and will fund renewable energy and biodiversity projects.
HSBC starts by identifying the source of deposits, the bank’s Singapore head of global liquidity and cash management David Koh tells Euromoney. “If we can’t identify the traceability of deposits, we won’t work with them. If a business is looking to salve its conscience by putting deposits to work with us, we’ll say no. It goes counter to what we’re trying to achieve.”
Clients get a quarterly portfolio showing how funds are deployed and which projects are targeted. It’s a first for HSBC, which launched an identical version targeted at UK firms, with more to follow in 2020 – though Standard Chartered beat them to the punch, launching its sustainable deposit account, available to corporate and retail clients, in Singapore last October.
It will take time to shift gear [on sustainability] - Frances Chen, HSBC Singapore
HSBC’s account took its first green deposit in the first week of February.