Best for ESG investing in Asia 2023
Bank of Singapore
Most private banks in Asia now claim that environmental, social and governance investment principles are well-entrenched. But at Bank of Singapore, whose chief executive is Jason Moo, there’s a level of ambition to prove it really does look at the world through an ESG lens.
The future is certainly getting clearer. Across Asia, many banks became almost religious about ESG during the Covid-19 health crisis. As Bank of Singapore’s officials see it, the pandemic showed the need for increased action to protect against long-term sustainability risks for businesses and society. It also shone a light on deepening inequality in wealth, living conditions, and access to social security, healthcare and daily necessities, even in developed economies.
The fissures are particularly acute in developing economies. Few bankers know this better than Robin Heng, Bank of Singapore’s global market head for key economies around the region, including Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and the broader Indochina region.
The bank’s belief is that incorporating ESG factors when evaluating the risks and opportunities associated with any investment strategy broadens the scope of information considered, contributing additional insights that improve investment decisions.
Though the next-generation set is already sold on the merits of ESG, this framing of the argument has been successful in appealing to older legacy clients.