Sustainability is a key emerging trend among high net worth (HNW) and ultra HNW clients globally, which is one of the many reasons Standard Chartered  is embracing the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda, not to mention the good returns available, winning itself a Highly Commended (HC) trophy in the Outstanding Private Bank: Middle-East category at the online Private Banker International (PBI): Global Wealth Summit & Awards 2020.

Its also been rewarded for its long 100 years+ presence in the region and its modern singular global relationship manager (RM) approach, which provides a single point of contact but still gives a choice of multiple booking centres for trades and trusts via Jersey, London, Hong Kong and Singapore. The global coverage it offers is allied to local advice and capabilities to offer maximum benefit. Islamic banking solutions are available.

Assets under management (AUM) rose in 2019 and 2020, says the bank, especially as Covid-19 hit and a stable investment home was sought by many. Q120 saw record revenues. A cohort of 16 new senior bankers were hired last year in London and Dubai to handle and deepen this surge in business.

At a Group level the bank’s sustainability aspirations have been set against annual and multi-year performance targets that are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each aspiration contains one or more performance measures. These are tracked to determine the percentage and proportion of all measures that have been achieved, or are on track to deliver at the end of a period. The bank is at at 93.1% for 2019, according to its metric, rising from 90.9% the year before. The Group has also committed that by the end of 2024, it will provide project financing towards USD40 billion of sustainable infrastructure and also finance and facilitate USD35 billion of clean tech and renewables.

A few examples of its ESG efforts are:

  • A product proposition in sustainable investing that offers:
  • sustainable structured products, sustainable bonds and cash deposits.
  • ESG funds, discretionary portfolios, targeted impact investments, and alternative investment options in say green energy and so forth.
  • A US$50 million global Covid-19 relief fund for those adversely impacted by the pandemic, followed by subsequent recovery funding.
  • An immediate US$25m donation was made to support emergency relief in the Banks ’s most affected markets
    • Donating over AED 500,000 to three local charities in the UAE
    • AED 180,000 to the Emirates Red Crescent
    • The Bank has enacted a series of measures to mitigate implications of COVID-19 on its consumers in the UAE
  • At the start of the pandemic, the Bank committed USD1 billion of at-cost financing to companies providing goods and services to fight Covid-19, or those switching to make products that are in high demand such as masks or personal protective equipment (PPE
  • We have provided Mediclinic Middle East, a foremost healthcare provider in the UAE, with favourable funding options of $25 million as they continue to play a key role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic).

Socially, the bank has sponsored the Dubai Marathon for the past 15 years, and this year the 2020 Dubai Polo Gold Cup, giving it access to UHNWIs. It also works closely with the Al Habtoor Polo Club over the long term and seeks partnerships with like-minded firms and families that share it values and sustainability focus.

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