[This is an update, now with the video, of the original news post from the conference day, 20 October.]
Moderator Simon Hesse Hoffmann led the discussion from the stage at Copenhagen’s Axelborg.
The panelists, taking part remotely, were
Samu Slotte, Head of Sustainable Finance, Danske Bank,
Claire Iversenc, Head of Sustainability, Corporate Coverage EMEA, BNP Paribas, and
Catharina Belfrage Sahlstrand, Group Head of Sustainability, Handelsbanken.
Samu Slotte noted that in the last five years, the green finance activities have clearly moved from being values-based to being a more naturally integrated part of everyday banking. Even so, many small clients including startups still believe that their green initiatives could be loan financed when in fact they would need an equity boost.
Catharina Belfrage Sahlstrand emphasized the need to not only look at the money, but also at the advisory side. Banks shouldn’t only support – but often nudge their clients in the right direction. So far, climate goals are the sustainability goals that have caused the largest effects. Yet, according to Catharina Belfrage Sahlstrand, it seems that it may have opened the door on the other sustainability goals, such as biodiversity.
Samu Slotte gave voice to fears that regulators could bring on administrative burdens on small and medium-sized companies, in the form of detailed reporting obligations on sustainability data. Catharina Belfrage Sahlstrand agreed in principle but seemed less worried: With time there will be recognised proxy measures and other methods of reducing the work needed to get the main points across in reporting, she predicted.