Swedish actors still makes many problematic investments, despite promises to take responsibility. Our audits have shown that the seven largest banks in Sweden in recent years invested more than 44 billion in fossil energy but only 9.8 billion in sustainable energy, and Nordea and SEB has lent out billions to big coal and oil companies.
We have also been shown on Swedish banks ' links to the deforestation of rainforests in Borneo, the export of arms to countries which violate human rights and to companies in the mining industry that affects human rights adversely. Several of the major banks has also been linked to repeated scandals around tax evasion and money laundering, most recently, Swedbank, Nordea and Danske bank, where thousands of billion linked to a suspected crime been transmitted out to tax havens through the banks.
There is strong support among the public for transparency – seven out of ten swedes think it should be possible to see which companies that banks are funding, shows our survey.
According to the head of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, must the financial services industry to completely redirect their investments to the global sustainability objectives are to be achieved. But development is held back by the financial sector's short-termism, the consumers ' difficulty to set the requirements and the lack of regulatory framework. For actors to change their ways to invest and act required political action in order to create a binding legal framework that covers all.
1 Increase the transparency. It is hard for outsiders, like journalists and watchdog organizations, to gain insight in the bankers and other finansaktörers investments and lending. To track investments in different companies and projects often requires a detective work and access to the expensive databases. People often either do not have a comprehensive picture, because the investments are spread out in different financial products and activities, sometimes via other countries. We therefore propose a legal requirement that actors must regularly declare all their investments in a publicly available report.
When it comes to bank lending, which is their most important financial area, there is no transparency at all. Banking secrecy is an obstacle to be able to see which companies banks will lend out money, which is a prerequisite for accountability. There is strong support among the public for transparency – seven out of ten swedes think it should be possible to see which companies that the banks, finance, show our new survey. Today, it is only Ekobanken in Sweden, which reports its loans and the big banks should be able to follow after the required modernisation of the banking secrecy. We therefore suggest that the Fsa be given a mandate to investigate bank secrecy and provide for how the banks can disclose information about which companies they lend money to.
today, it is all too easy for the banks to give the appearance that their savings products means a high level of durability.
2 it simpler for savers. Awareness has increased among Swedish consumers around the sparpengarnas linked to climate change and other sustainability issues. According to our study to six out of every ten to be able to compare how different ways to save affects the climate, and seven out of ten can think of to save in the sustainable funds, according to Swedbank. Yet it is the few who made an informed choice because the jungle of information is an unreasonable requirement on savers. Today, it is all too easy for the banks to give the appearance that their savings products means a high level of durability.
It must be made easier for savers to make informed choices and they need to be able to rely on sustainability information. The new lagkravet introduced last year, which means that the mutual funds shall disclose sustainability information, is a good start. But the lack of standards for reporting which ensure that what is said is also being followed in practice.
We suggest that the Fsa should be tasked to develop such standards and easier variations for savers, as well as more widespread for professional audiences. Among other things, should sparprodukters carbon footprint is recognized, that is to say, how big the greenhouse gas emissions of companies in the savings product causes. Our survey shows that six out of ten swedes want to be able to compare klimatavtrycket of different savings products.
Savers must also have access to savings products with clear environmental benefits, that is to say where the money is being used to enable new green businesses. Today is green bonds, but the limited supply prevent the market from functioning well. It is positive that the so-called januariavtalet contains an attempt to give government green bonds. We hope that it becomes permanent for that also contribute to standardization in the field.
Financial advisors also play an important role and must have requirements to inform customers about the sustainability aspects. If a saver thinks that sustainability is important the rules must require that the adviser recommend products place particularly high demands on durability.
3 , Girdle of the regulatory framework and supervision. Our audits have shown that there are significant internal weaknesses in the banks systems and procedures which leads to their investments and actions do not live up to its own guidelines for sustainability. We therefore propose a legal requirement that financial organizations must have adequate systems and procedures to implement their sustainability direction in the financial business.
the Minimum requirements of the guidelines must also be provided, there are several established frameworks that can be applied, such as the UN guiding principles for business and human rights, and the ”Task force on climate-related financial disclosures” on climate change. The legal and supervisory framework to combat money laundering and tax evasion must also be tightened up. More stringent requirements should be imposed on the banks to assess the risks of money laundering and tax evasion and taking effective measures to manage the risks.
With our proposals, would the Swedish actors to a greater extent promote the global objectives of sustainable development. Consumers would also be better able to make choices that are good for the planet. It is time that the policy is step in and create more sustainable playing field in the financial industry.