“We don’t have much time, we need to hurry up”
What role are Europe’s financial centres playing in the transition to a sustainable economy? This is the question discussed in the latest “Financial Centre Voices” podcast featuring SBA CEO Jörg Gasser along with Catherine McGuinness (Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee at the City of London Corporation) and Christian Ossig (CEO of the Association of German Banks). The podcast was recorded during Building Bridges Week. The discussion was held in English.
“What we need are framework conditions that speed up this change,” said Jörg Gasser, adding that the UN’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow had made this clear. The Swiss economy and its banking sector, he explained, are strong enough to rise to the challenge, as shown by the study “Investment and financing needed for Switzerland to reach net zero by 2050”. According to Gasser, time is of the essence.
“We need to be focused on having a consistent set of rules,” stressed Catherine McGuinness, who believes that a common basis is needed for financial centres to have an impact, for example in terms of preventing greenwashing. Christian Ossig, meanwhile, addressed the role of the banks and how they view themselves: “We banks want to be on the side of our clients, and we want especially to enable our clients to have vital business models also in five, ten or twenty years. Financing companies and transition is very high on our agenda.”
Building Bridges Week was held in Geneva from 29 November to 3 December and was heavily influenced by the UN’s COP26 climate conference, which had taken place in Glasgow just a few weeks before. As a founding partner of Building Bridges, the SBA hosted a debate in Geneva on the topic “Transition financing: the role of private sector financing in climate change mitigation”. The event was recorded.
The SBA’s “Financial Centre Voices” podcast offers first-hand insights into key issues. Experts discuss hot topics in the Swiss financial centre together with moderator Marie Zeh.