Latest Banking and Financial Services articles

The Service Patch

11 June 2012 -

(New York Times)

Several years ago, the investment banks and consulting firms decided it was better to hire a supremely gifted 22-year-old than a moderately gifted 40-year-old who wanted to go home to his family.

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Major Investors and Companies Tackle Climate Change and Sustainability at Ceres Conference in Boston

15 May 2012 -

(CSR Wire)

Companies and investors are tackling climate change and other global sustainability threats head-on—and are finding it profitable to do so. That’s the clear message emerging at the Ceres Conference 2012: Igniting Innovation, Scaling Sustainability at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel.

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Aviva rocked by shareholder rebellion over executive pay

8 May 2012 -

(Guardian) By Jill Treanor and Julia Kollewe

Insurer one of five major companies to suffer revolt over pay as 54% of shareholders vote against remuneration report

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Furor Over Executive Pay Is Not the Revolt It Appears to Be

8 May 2012 -

(New York Times) By Steven M. Davidoff

Shareholder protests over excessive executive pay have erupted at Barclays, Citigroup and Chesapeake Energy. Could this be the beginning of a corporate Arab Spring?

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Why corporate boards should listen to investors on sustainability

8 May 2012 -

(GreenBiz) By Robert Kropp

A recently published white paper from Ernst & Young asks corporate boards if they are prepared for a focus by investors on sustainability issues.

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Sustainable banking: the business case

8 May 2012 -

(Guardian) By James Niven

Little-known, but enthusiastically embraced by their customers, a different kind of banking has risen to prominence in recent years

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UK banks and insurers blacklist cluster bomb manufacturers

20 April 2012 -

(Guardian) By Severin Carrell

Lloyds and Aviva among the major firms invoking ‘stop lists’ to purge cluster munitions companies from their share portfolios

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29 firms fail to file promised sustainability reports

12 April 2012 -

(GreenBiz) By Robert Kropp

For the fifth year, a coalition of signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) are pressuring companies to fulfill their stated commitments to corporate sustainability reporting.

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Sustainability Boosts Returns for Private Equity Funds

12 April 2012 -

(Environmental Leader) Zach Goldman

In the second installment of this series, we highlighted how private equity fund managers can drive value creation across their portfolios by integrating efficient resource management expertise into operational teams and broader corporate strategy, as well as by bringing in experts in resource saving practices where appropriate. Major funds have found that doing so is an effective tactic to identify substantial cost savings while also producing broader strategic benefits. Today, we move upstream in the investment cycle to the acquisition phase to examine how private equity general partners (GPs) can benefit from enhanced consideration of environmental social and governance (ESG) factors during the due diligence process.

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UN outlines for Rio+20 could have major impact on corporate ESG reporting and RI for public funds

3 April 2012 -

(Responsible Investor) by Hugh Wheelan

The United Nations (UN) has put forward proposed measures for discussion at the Rio +20 summit in June that could have a significant impact on the way that companies report sustainability issues and large institutional investors, notably sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), consider responsible investing.

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FTSE Launches Four Carbon Indexes

3 April 2012 -

(Environmental Leader)

The FTSE Group and its partners, the nonprofit Carbon Disclosure Project and benchmarking specialist ENDS Carbon, have launched four carbon-related indexes designed to help investors reduce the long-term investment risks associated with climate change.

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States Require Insurers to Respond to Climate Risk Survey

27 February 2012 -

(GreenBiz) By Robert Kropp

In September, when Ceres published a report on the preparedness of the insurance industry for the impacts of climate change, Sharlene Leurig of Ceres said, “2011 has been a painful and important reminder that changing climate will inflict damage across the US. Even before Hurricane Irene, insured losses in the US this year were 40% higher than in the entire year of 2010.

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Poll: Financial Short-Termism Hitting Sustainability Drive

13 February 2012 -

(Environmental Leader)

Financial short-termism presents a critical barrier to businesses’ transition to sustainability, according to a U.N.-backed poll by consultancies GlobeScan and SustainAbility.

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China: manufacturing sector and social issues highest reported investor ESG risks: study

30 January 2012 -

(Responsible Investment.com) By Hugh Wheelan

Environmental risks ahead as government policy tightens.

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Brazilian Stock Exchange Nudges Companies Toward CSR Reporting

12 January 2012 -

(GreenBiz) By Robert Kropp

BM&FBOVESPA, the Brazilian Stock Exchange, announced this week that it will now recommend that its listed companies either state that they publish a regular sustainability report and where it can be accessed, or explain why they do not do so.

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Dutch Pension Fund Dumps Walmart

12 January 2012 -

(MarketWatch) By Casie Yoder

Leaders of the Making Change at Walmart campaign hailed the news that one of the largest pension funds in the world has decided to divest from Walmart stores. Algemeen Burgerlijk Pensioenfonds (ABP) announced today that the retirement fund would no longer invest in the retail giant due to the company’s repeated violation of international labor standards. The fund, which has over $300 billion in assets and is the third largest in the world, had over $147 million invested in Walmart as of September 30, 2011.

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Banks stand accused of treating women customers unfairly

18 November 2011 -

(The Indepedent) By Sean Farrell

After ripping off their customers and bringing the economy to its knees, Britain’s banks now stand accused of rampant sexism.

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International Banks Support Guidance on Financing New Coal-Fired Power Plants

7 November 2011 -

(CSR Wire)

The Climate Group today issued a Guidance Note on financing new coal-fired power plants (CFPPs), which was developed by The Climate Group with expert advice from BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, F&C Asset Management, HSBC and Standard Chartered.

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Nike Sets Up Green Venture Capital Arm

4 October 2011 -

(Environmental Leader) Nike is to set up a sustainable venture capital arm in an effort to cut costs and promote green commerce.

The sports clothing company’s Sustainable Business & Innovation Lab is to back startups focused on alternative energy and more efficient manufacturing approaches, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

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Europe’s first biomass exchange to open in November

4 October 2011 -

(Reuters) By Ivana Sekularac
Europe’s first exchange for trading wood pellets, used to replace coal in electricity generation, will be launched on November 3 in the port of Rotterdam, Anglo-Dutch exchange APX Endex said in a statement.

The global market of wood pellets is growing as a result of world-wide policies to cut CO2 emissions and replace fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy.

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Ikea: Stock Market Pressures Hinder Sustainability

22 September 2011 -

(Environmental Leader) September 20, 2011
Ikea’s private ownership helps the company act sustainably, according to the firm’s CEO, in a case study prepared for the launch of Climate Week NYC.

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RBS involved in conference on Middle East weapons sales

22 September 2011 -

(The Independent) By Jerome Taylor – September 7, 2011
The Royal Bank of Scotland’s is sending delegates to a conference promoting weapons sales to the Middle East. The Independent has learned that the state-owned bank – which is 83 percent owned by the tax payer – is attending a conference on Thursday organised by the London Chamber of Commerce.

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Vision for a sustainable economy

13 September 2011 -

(Forum for the Future) Investors should use their financial muscle to create a resilient, stable and sustainable economy and lobby governments for support, urges a report released today by Forum for the Future.

The report, called ‘Sustainable Economy in 2040: a roadmap for capital markets’, warns that capital markets are funding activities that are pushing the planet beyond safe environmental limits and threatening investors’ long-term interests.

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Report: Insurers Not Ready for Climate Change

13 September 2011 -

(Environmental Leader) September 2, 2011
Despite broad consensus among major insurers that climate change will affect extreme weather events, only an eighth of such companies have formal policies in place to deal with growing climate change risks, according to a report issued today by business sustainability coalition Ceres.

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Ceres Report: Insurers Slow to Recognize Climate Change Threat to Their Business Models and Larger Economy

5 September 2011 -

(CSR Wire) By Ceres – September 2, 2011
Only 11 of 88 major insurers surveyed recently have formal policies in place to deal with growing climate change risks, according to a major new report issued today by Ceres. The report was to have been delivered today at a conference of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) that was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene.

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