Senior HSBC staff have distanced themselves from comments made in a presentation last week by Stuart Kirk, Global Head of Responsible Investments at the bank’s asset management arm, who has since been suspended, according to the Financial Times. Celine Herwijer, Group Chief Sustainability Officer at HSBC, wrote in a Linked In post that Kirk’s comments, which downplayed the relevance of climate change to financing and investment decisions, “couldn’t be further from HSBC’s position”. HSBC Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn wrote that the presentation did not “reflect the views of the senior leadership” at the bank. In the presentation, the contents of which are believed to have been approved internally, Kirk called for a greater focus on adapting to the impacts of climate change, and criticised the increasing focus of clients, central banks and others on climate risks.
HSBC suspends banker over climate change comments, despite the bank being aware of the contents of the speech in advance https://t.co/BWDcrLcRPH via @FT
— Katie Martin (@katie_martin_fx) May 22, 2022