‘Guernsey is in a position to benefit from green finance’
INVESTOR interest in green finance has gone ‘ballistic’ – and Guernsey is in a position to benefit.
Neville Hill, chief European economist for Credit Suisse, also said his company had a strong environmental, social and governance platform. Given the long and deep relationship Credit Suisse had with Guernsey, he added, it was exactly the kind of thing that can be worked on together.
The island has been striving to lead the way on sustainable finance, providing products such as the Guernsey Green Fund product which acts as a green kitemark to provide confidence to investors looking to put money into companies investing in projects such as renewable energy.
‘One of the challenges at the moment is of course to be able to ensure that the products that are being sold by financial institutions – that are being packaged – are genuinely what they say on the tin.
‘A lot in finance is about ensuring that the end investor is getting the product they need. One of the things that’s quite interesting in Guernsey is the uptake of the accreditation scheme in terms of being able to validate investments that have been registered in Guernsey.’
Having a reliable benchmark or kite mark for investments would becoming increasingly important, said Mr Hill.
‘Certainly in terms of the investors we speak to – whether they’re insurance funds, pension funds or large saving institutions – the appetite and need for them to invest in ESG and green type products has just gone ballistic in the last few years.’
According to Mr Hill, Credit Suisse was focusing on being able to produce so-called green and blue bonds to be able to support the market.
‘I think it’s something that has got an enormous amount of potential,’ he added.
‘It’s healthy from the perspective of the environment, as well as in the sense of having global capital increasingly focused and increasingly rewarding those businesses, those companies, those industries that are environmentally responsible. It’s one of the ways we can “green” the world that’s going to be far more effective than us putting out our recycling every day at an individual level.
‘But as with all things, it’s got to be regulated well, and a lot of the way that can be done is self-regulation rather than coming from above.
‘There’s an enormous advantage to being the first mover. If that’s the one that the investment community pick up on and feel confident with, then it becomes the benchmark.’