Credit Suisse faces investor call to cut lending for fossil fuels

By Simon Jessop and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

LONDON/ZURICH (Reuters) – Buyers managing $2.4 trillion are calling on Credit score Suisse to take more durable local weather motion, together with reducing its publicity to fossil gas property.

“The message from traders is evident: Credit score Suisse should urgently again its long-term net-zero ambition with sturdy fossil gas disclosures, insurance policies, and targets,” Jeanne Martin, senior marketing campaign supervisor at ShareAction, stated in a press release.

The 11-strong group, which incorporates Europe’s greatest asset supervisor Amundi, stated Switzerland’s second-biggest financial institution additionally wanted to enhance its local weather disclosures, align its coal, oil and gasoline insurance policies with best-practice and set short-term targets to chop fossil fuel-related lending.

The group, which incorporates the municipal pension fund for Credit score Suisse’s house metropolis of Zurich and the Swiss federal pension fund, stated it was submitting a decision to Credit score Suisse’s annual normal assembly (AGM) on April 29.

If taken to a vote, the decision, coordinated by accountable funding NGO ShareAction and Swiss pension fund adviser Ethos Basis along with the Swiss Affiliation for Accountable Investments, can be the primary climate-related vote to be put to a Swiss firm at its AGM.

Credit score Suisse stated it was engaged in dialogue with shareholders and would define reductions to its oil, gasoline and coal financing in its sustainability report on Thursday.

“Credit score Suisse’s sustainability place is evident,” the financial institution stated in an emailed assertion. “We’ve made a public dedication to attain web zero throughout our operations, provide chain and financing actions by 2050.”

Interim targets embrace monitoring the discount of each emissions and lending publicity to the oil, gasoline and coal sector.

The decision follows the retraction of 1 finally 12 months’s AGM calling for the phasing out of coal financing.

Credit score Suisse printed a brand new coal coverage on the COP26 local weather talks in November.

The investor group stated that coverage had “a number of regarding loopholes,” together with permitting the financial institution to maintain funding corporations for “vitality transition” functions with no clear definition of what that meant.

Credit score Suisse had a torrid 2021, with scandals prompting govt oustings, a full-year loss and a strategic overhaul. A lately created sustainability division was folded again into its enterprise models underneath new management.

($1 = 0.9182 euros)

(Reporting by Simon Jessop and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Modifying by Mark Potter)

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