In May 2019, the HKMA unveiled a number of measures promoting the development of green finance in Hong Kong. Subsequently in December 2019, as part of the initiative, the HKMA wrote to the Hong Kong Association of Banks to consult on a common assessment framework for green and sustainable banking (Framework).
The Framework aims to assess the “greenness” of banks and to collect information as regards 21 sub-elements categorised under six key elements:
- Governance - board and senior management oversight, as well as roles and responsibilities
- Corporate planning and tools - including stress testing
- Risk management process - including risk reporting, control and mitigation
- Business policies, products and services
- Performance and resources - including data collection and processing
- Disclosure and communication - including plans to make disclosure in accordance with recommendations and guidance published by the FSB Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD)
These elements and sub-elements represent the major focus points for banks in managing climate and environmental-related risks, and broadly align with the standards, initiatives and recommendations of international bodies and regulators in other jurisdictions. Banks are expected to answer the questions in the Framework, assess their progress with respect to each sub-element and assign a rating as appropriate.
Participating banks should have submitted their self-assessment by 21 January 2020. Based on the responses, the HKMA expects to develop policies to combat the risks of climate change and develop sustainable banking in Hong Kong.