Sustainable finance: Swiss wealth management industry initiative celebrates further success

How well are private Banks aligned with sustainability? (Foto VAV, ABPS)


The second report has now been published on the progress made with the Swiss wealth management industry’s ‘Sustainable finance as an opportunity for wealth management’ initiative, which was launched in 2021. Through their engagement to find solutions to climate change, the 22 banks taking part have continued to build on their initial successes. Significant advances have been made towards implementing the fourteen measures across four key areas – ‘Reducing greenhouse gas emissions’, ‘Offering and advisory’, ‘Training’ and ‘Disclosure’ – that are intended to help meet the targets set under the Paris Climate Agreement.


In September 2021, the VAV launched the ‘Sustainable Finance as an opportunity for wealth management’ industry initiative to support private and institutional investors with sustainable investing and help transform the economy into a more sustainable system. The participating wealth management banks joined forces to set priority action points, which they have been working towards, developing further, and reviewing regularly ever since. The ASPB’s Swiss private banks have been a part of the initiative since 2022. Together with 13 members of the VAV, as well as LGT and, as of this year, J. Safra Sarasin, the initiative is now being supported by a total of 22 institutions with assets under management of around CHF 2400 billion between them.


Swiss Climate Scores

To align with the Swiss Federal Council’s Sustainable Finance Strategy, which was published in December 2022, the industry initiative’s list of priorities for 2023 was expanded to include two new key measures, namely the application of Swiss Climate Scores (SCS) indicators to financial investments and client portfolios, as well as helping clients discuss sustainability-related issues with the companies they invest in (the ‘Stewardship strategy’).

“I'm particularly pleased about the high level of engagement with the stewardship strategy, which is part of the fabric of our wealth management industry and still has plenty of potential to develop,” says Philipp Rickenbacher, Chairman of the VAV. “This both gives us motivation and reaffirms our belief that our industry can and will make a contribution towards meeting the climate targets set under the Paris Agreement.”


Room for improvement

The only sign that might point to any significant decline in the overall level of desired engagement is the number of participants signing international net zero initiatives – although the degree of implementation is higher now than it was in 2022. This is because existing net zero initiatives have not been designed to address the specifics of the wealth management business model.


More information: vav_abps_medienmitteilung_e.pdf (