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UOB manages nearly S$200m in ESG product transactions in year to date

DEMAND is growing for investment products focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations, with UOB having managed close to S$200 million worth of such transactions for its customers in the first nine months of this year.

The bank said in a press statement on Wednesday that its year-to-date transaction value as at Sept 30, 2020 has exceeded that for the whole of 2019.

UOB has integrated ESG considerations into its suite of investment solutions, including unit trusts, bonds and structured products, which are offered to consumers across segments.

It has developed a structured due-diligence framework to select solution providers, to ensure the partners demonstrate commitment to addressing ESG risks and opportunities.

Solution providers must have operationalised policies and processes in place, and/or adopt or align to globally recognised standards from the Principles for Responsible Investment, Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project.

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Jacquelyn Tan, head of group personal financial services at the bank, said: "We are encouraged by our customers' strong interest in sustainable investing."

This openness to sustainable investing can be attributed to consumers' understanding that such products provide financial returns while enabling the investors to do good, Ms Tan added.

UOB plans to roll out more solutions to enable its customers to contribute to the social and environmental well-being of the wider community.

The lender's existing ESG-focused products include unit trusts such as UOB Asset Management's United Sustainable Credit Income Fund and the Allianz Global Sustainability Fund.

It also offers green bonds selected from the constituents of the Bloomberg MSCI Green Bond Index, as well as structured products based on the key themes of healthcare, technology and the European Green Deal.

The European Green Deal is a plan by the European Commission to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy, to restore biodiversity and to cut pollution.

UOB shares fell S$0.12 or 0.6 per cent to trade at S$19.52 as at 11.34am on Wednesday.

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