StanChart CEO states ESG benefits organization

Standard Chartered CEO reports 'very good growth' in China despite slowing growth

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Bill Winters, Chief Executive Officer at the Standard Chartered Bank, participates in a panel session of the World Governments Summit in Dubai on February 12, 2024.

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Standard Chartered president Bill Winters states ecologically mindful investing can be helpful for organization, dismissing the effect of a U.S. crusade versus mission-driven financial investments.

His remarks come at a time when financial investments based upon ecological, social and governance (ESG) aspects have actually ended up being a politically polarized concern.

In the United States, for instance, Republican legislators have actually decried ESG as a type “woke capitalism” that looks for to focus on liberal objectives over financial investment returns.

Democratic legislators have actually looked for to press back, nevertheless, explaining attacks on a variety of fairly accountable organization practices as “an attempt to manufacture a culture war and protect corporate special interests.”

Analysts anticipate the result of this year’s U.S. governmental election to identify whether the political reaction versus ESG will have a deep and long lasting result.

“Obviously, the political environment in the U.S. is toxic, times 10 — and so people are going quiet. But one of the stats that I love is the biggest renewable power center in the United States is the state of Texas, right? Which is the state that has been leading the charge against pension fund managers who have a ‘woke’ agenda or whatever,” Winters informed CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Friday.

“I mean, I do want to wake up one day and have a planet so if that makes me woke, shoot me.”

Green reaction

A pushback versus environment policies is not simply a U.S. concern. In Europe, indicators of a green reaction– or “greenlash”– have actually begun emerging as companies and people feel the expenses of the energy shift.

When asked whether he was worried about business downsizing their sustainability dedications, Winters responded, “I don’t think there has been a big backing away.”

The CEO stated his business had actually been “constantly refining” its net-zero approach given that setting a double track of goals in the last few years.

The emerging markets-focused bank is intending to reach net-zero carbon emissions within its own company by 2025 and net no in its funded emissions by 2050.

Signage atop the Standard Chartered Plc head office structure, center, in Hong Kong, China, on Monday,Feb 19, 2024.

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“We said one, we’re going to be thought leaders and action leaders in terms of policies around net zero and our clients have completely engaged with us. We’ve seen no backing away from that at all,” Winters stated.

“And second, we said we’re going to build a business to support our clients, and that business made $720 million last year, and we said it is going to make $1 billion next year. That’s not nothing. It’s a good business for us,” he stated.

“If you don’t make a decent return on this business, you can’t keep on throwing resources at it, up to a point. This is not philanthropy. This is not political wokeness. This is do the right thing for the planet, do the right thing for your business. That’s what we’re doing, and I don’t see other people backing away from that.”

Shares of Standard Chartered are down around 3.8% year-to-date.