ECCT financial services forum examines ESG trends

28 September, 2022

ESG is now firmly in the mainstream but strategies are diverse and continuing to evolve. Products are becoming more sophisticated and regulations are becoming more comprehensive, aimed at standardising disclosure and sustainability risks to investments as well as investment risk to sustainability. Taiwan’s regulatory environment is moving in line with international standards but the local financial industry is behind the curve. These are just some of the highlights of the ECCT’s recent 2022 Europe-Taiwan Financial Services Forum with the theme “Building a robust ESG model for Taiwan - Sharing best practices from Europe & Taiwan”. Read the full event report.

ESG is just as critical in the bond world as in equities and leads to better client outcomes. It should not be seen as a coincidence that 10 of the recent worst bond performers were also those that had poor ESG results.

It would be easy to simply divest from companies with poor ESG records but a more impactful strategy would be to help them transition to improve their performance and find new pathways, such as by shifting to new technologies like green hydrogen.

Taiwan has introduced regulations and put in place numerous incentives to facilitate green investments but some financial institutions have been cautious in embracing ESG.

The full day event was organised by the chamber’s financial services committees (Banking, Asset Management, and Insurance), and brought together policy makers and leading experts from Europe and Taiwan to share the latest developments in Environmental Social and Governance and best practices in leading markets with the aim of showing the way forward to build a robust ESG model for Taiwan.

The event began with opening remarks by Legislative Yuan President You Si-Kun, British Office Taipei Representative, John Dennis, and ECCT Vice Chairman Erdal Elver. This was followed by four sessions on the topics: 1) ESG in the mainstream - retail & institutional money fast converting; 2) Financing the energy transition for a greener Taiwan future; 3) Product innovation & regulation and 4) Looking into the future – Building sustainability investment and financing models in Taiwan.

Guest speakers from the government who participated in the forum were Dr Huang Tien-mu, Chairperson of the Financial Supervisory Commission; Dr Yu Cheng-Wei, Director General, Bureau of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Brenda Hu, Director General, Department of Planning, Financial Supervisory Commission. International guest speakers from industry were Erin Bigley, Head of Fixed Income Responsible Investing, AllianceBernstein; Dr Dennis Hänsel, Global Head of Investment & ESG Advisory, DWS; David Hutchins, Portfolio Manager- Multi-Asset Solutions, AllianceBernstein; Carsten Quitter, Allianz Group Chief Investment Officer (Group CIO); and Mervyn Tang, Head of Sustainability Strategy, APAC, Schroders. The line-up also included representatives from financial corporations operating in Taiwan, who participated in the sessions as presenters and panellists.

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