Green and ethical banks in Europe

European banks with an explicitly green or sustainable profile:

Ethical banks:

See also:

Febea (European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks and Financiers)
GABV (Global Alliance for Banking on Values)

Banking on YouTube

I’m trying something new. I’ve started making videos about banking, monetary policy and sustainable finance.

I’m still trying to figure out the best format. But I already like the ability to use graphs and pictures. Compared to blogging, video is less nuanced. For example, you can’t link to all sources. But maybe that’s an advantage.

Here’s the first one, let me know what you think!

Links spring 2021

Green finance

Asset managers, bankers, central bankers1… Everybody in finance is talking about climate change and sustainability.

Source

But what do green investments mean in practice?

A report by Common Wealth found that some climate-themed funds invest in oil & gas companies such as ExxonMobil. More broadly, the largest holdings of climate funds were Big Tech and finance. Adrienne Buller, the author of the study, writes “what do these ostensibly climate-focused funds really contribute to combatting the climate crisis, reducing emissions or driving a rapid transition to low carbon economic activities? There is nothing in the specific labelling or remit of these funds that would require them to invest in the green economy, in financial instruments design to drive the transition of business models to lower carbon activities, or other similar investments.” (emphasis mine)

Source: Common Wealth

There are plenty of metrics by which providers assess climate risk. Given different methodologies and the complexity of estimating climate risk, there is some divergence in the metrics. However, Chiara Colesanti Senni and Julia Anna Bingler do find that “metrics tend to converge for companies that are most and least exposed to climate risk”.

Data and tools for monitoring climate change and financial assets:

Organizations promoting green finance:

Organizations advocating broader economic change, including green finance:

Finance lobby in Europe

Financial centers

Financial industry

NGOs

Chinese-owned banks in Europe

Bank of China and ICBC are obviously Chinese banks. Less well-known, the following banks are also controlled by Chinese shareholders:

ATLANTICO Europa (Portugal) is owned by “a Hong Kong financial group

Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (Luxembourg) is owned by Legend Holdings (Hong Kong)

Bison Bank (Portugal) is owned by Bison Capital Holding (Hong Kong)

Haitong (Portugal) is owned by Haitong Securities (Shanghai)

Nagelmackers (Belgium) is owned by Anbang, which is owned by the Chinese Ministry of Finance (Beijing)

Saxo Bank (Denmark) is owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Hangzhou)

If banks are no longer active, why do they still have a banking license?

During my research on banks in Europe, I came across some strange things. Here’s an example. Some banks have a banking license in a country, while the banks themselves say they are no longer active there:

LBBW has a banking license in Luxembourg according to the ECB.

LBBW doesn’t mention Luxembourg on its global locations site. A 2012 article says LBBW pulled out of Luxembourg.

Credit Europe has a banking license in Belgium according to the ECB.

But Credit Europe says it has stopped its activities in Belgium in 2016.

Bank of Scotland has a banking license in France and in the Netherlands, according to the ECB. But the bank says it does not operate internationally.

What’s going on here?