Financial services execs boost staff sustainable finance skills amid climate concerns

60% of c-suite acknowledge concern about their organisation’s ability to deal with climate change

The European financial services industry is committing to “significantly upskill” employees with sustainable finance training, with banks appearing most committed in this area.

The Luxembourg Financial Services Industry Survey, organised by Luxembourg for Finance, which questioned around 350 c-suite leaders and senior managers from the financial sector, found that amid the changing regulatory landscape for sustainable finance 84% are expecting to provide sustainable finance training over the next two to five years. Furthermore, 38% said they will “significantly upskill” their workforce.

Climate change was a top priority for the leaders with 60% acknowledging some level of concern about their organisation’s ability to deal with climate change – hence the commitment to further training. However, 81% said they are confident about their organisation’s ability to handle changes related to sustainable finance regulation emerging from Brussels over the next two to five years.

How concerned are you, if at all, about your organisation’s ability to deal with climate change over the next 12-24 months? (n=343)

Source: LuxembourgforFinance

Banking, fintech and asset and investment management sectors all cited climate change as a serious  concern with this leaping within the insurance space (see chart above).

In terms of training, banks appeared to be the most committed with more than half of those surveyed (52%) indicating they are planning to upskill staff in sustainable finance compared to the 38% average. This was closely followed by accounting, audit and consulting companies with 48% and asset and investment management with 42%.

See also: –Recruitment trends: The shortage in ESG talent

Nicolas Mackel, CEO of Luxembourg for Finance, said: “The need for global cooperation has never been more critical to tackle the climate emergency, this is acknowledged here with climate change identified as the third highest global risk faced this year.

“We are pleased to see that financial services are paying heed to this, with 84% expecting to provide sustainable finance training in the short to midterm, and 38% expecting to “significantly upskill” their workforce. These are notable levels of investment, at a time we must all come together to pave the way to financing a sustainable future.”

Looking at the wider survey, c-suite execs and senior managers also reported increased optimism of the global financial services industry with 50% saying it will be resilient in the medium term  – a 7% increase from October 2020. Only 24% still see the market environment becoming more volatile and 23% expect major risks and disruptions ahead.

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Natalie Kenway

Natalie is global head of ESG insight for ESG Clarity and has been an investment journalist for 16 years. She won Editor of the Year at the Aviva Investors Sustainability Media Awards 2021, and was Winner...