Standard Chartered is an international banking group. Founded in 1853, it is headquartered in London, UK, but has a presence across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Standard Chartered has two client segments: Corporate, Commercial, and Institutional Banking; and Consumer, Private, and Business Banking. In 2021 it had USD 827.81 billion in assets and 81,904 employees.
In terms of senior leadership accountability, the responsibility for sustainability issues within Standard Chartered lies with the board of directors. Moreover, the financial institution links the remuneration of its executive team to sustainability performance criteria. On the topic of gender, the financial institution publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Finally, Standard Chartered discloses a list of trade associations of which it is a member including sustainability- and non-sustainability-related organisations.
As a member of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), Standard Chartered has set a target of net-zero financed emissions by 2050. It also discloses that alignment with the Paris Agreement is one of its engagement topics and requires its clients to have a strategy aligned with the Paris Agreement. In addition, the financial institution discloses the aggregate amount and share of finance it devotes to climate solutions while specifying what these solutions are. Looking to the future, Standard Chartered aims to finance USD 35 billion in climate solutions by 2023. It also reports progress against this target. On the topic of biodiversity, the financial institution discloses the financing criteria it uses to ensure the protection of nature and biodiversity.
Standard Chartered has a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect human rights. It also has a grievance mechanism accessible to all workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights, as well as bribery and corruption, concerns or complaints. The financial institution discloses a breakdown of its total direct operations workforce for each employee category by gender and age group. It also discloses the proportion of its workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements. Finally, the financial institution commits to protecting personal data and the health and safety of workers.
There is an opportunity for Standard Chartered to link the remuneration of its management team to sustainability performance criteria; currently only executive remuneration is linked to sustainability. In terms of female representation in leadership positions, women are underrepresented on the board of directors where only 4 out of 13 board members are women. The financial institution also has an opportunity to reach at least 40% female representation in senior leadership positions. Currently 30.7% of senior leadership roles are held by women. In terms of engagement, Standard Chartered has an opportunity to describe its engagement approach on sustainability themes and impact topics with clients and investees, across it financing activities.
There is an opportunity for Standard Chartered to disclose absolute interim emissions reduction targets, rather than intensity-based targets. It could also describe how its climate solutions are aligned with internationally adopted frameworks. Furthermore, the financial institution could provide evidence that it collectively engages with companies to which it provides financial services on the topic of alignment with the Paris Agreement. Regarding nature and biodiversity, no evidence was found that the financial institution is committed to minimising its negative impacts or financing regenerative solutions.
Standard Chartered has an opportunity to describe a comprehensive process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts across all its activities, especially its financing activities. Additionally, there is no evidence that the financial institution discloses the amount of finance directed towards usually excluded groups or low-income countries. While the financial institution discloses that it aims to direct finance towards SMEs, it could disclose an amount.
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Net income: USD 1.54 billion; Total assets: USD 827.81 billion