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ESG challenges probed

More than 80 leaders from financial services organisations attended a seminar organised by KPMG in Bahrain to discuss the emerging challenges and opportunities associated with sustainability, climate-related risks, and the overall importance of embracing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) within the organisation’s strategy.

ESG associated risks are becoming more relevant for financial institutions from a regulatory standpoint at a global and national level, and it is increasingly becoming a critical business requirement within the sector.

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) recently announced its commitment towards social and climate related goals and have requested their relevant stakeholders within Bahrain to help raise awareness within their organisations in relation to ‘climate-related’ risks and to assess how they would identify and address these risks from an organisational perspective.

Khalid Hamad, executive director of banking supervision at the CBB, was the keynote speaker during the event held at Downtown Rotana under the theme ‘The Role of ESG within the financial services sector’.

In his opening remarks, Mr Hamad reinforced the importance of the impact from ESG related factors on the sector, and how it will influence the future of banking.

He stated, “The climate change journey is full of economic, social and political challenges which require detailed action plans at countries, corporates and banks’ levels worldwide. This is an agenda for organisations within the public and private sectors which need to work together to realise the national ESG strategy and action plan, to make a real difference.

Jeyapriya Partiban, partner and head of advisory at KPMG in Bahrain, said, “Taking a holistic approach towards ESG related challenges and opportunities can provide financial institutions with a real competitive edge within the marketplace by delivering on clear and tangible outcomes that move towards effective, efficient, and sustainable policies and processes within the organisation.

Applying an ESG lens on their core products and services could also provide FIs with a strategic advantage within the marketplace.”

She also emphasised that ESG initiatives start at home and are reinforced at learning institutions and the work place. It is important to create continued awareness and education on the subject, for citizens to realise how it impacts our overall lifestyle and community, and how our actions can positively impact the UN Sustainable Development Goals achievement.”

The event provided participants with an overview of the ESG agenda and how it impacts organisations within the FS sector, while also highlighting key industry standards both a global and regional level including information pertaining to appropriate reporting mechanisms, KPIs, metrics, assurance requirements and regulatory standards within the marketplace.




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