KPMG in Qatar recently hosted a session on Environment, Society and Governance (ESG) in the banking sector entitled “Banking on ESG: Fashion or the Future”.
As environmental, social and governance issues, risks and opportunities become increasingly relevant to financial institutions, and other entities for that matter, KPMG hosted this event to discuss some of the issues, challenges and banking opportunities from Qatar and more broadly from the GCC. they relate to ESG adoption for banks.
The session was chaired by a panel of experts including Omar Mahmood, Head (Financial Services) of KPMG Middle East and South Asia; Dr Kay Swinburne, Vice President (Financial Services – KPMG UK) and former Member of the European Parliament; Mohsin Mujtaba, Director and Head (Product and Market Development) at the Qatar Stock Exchange; and Akber Khan, Senior Director, Al Rayan Investment.
Discussing ESG status in Qatari banks, Mahmood said: “While significant progress has been made in the ESG space by banks in Qatar, through green bond issuances, sustainability reporting and a greater diversity among other initiatives, there is still a lot of work to be done. by banks, regulators, advisers, auditors and all market players to truly embed ESG in the DNA of financial markets.
Khan said, “Capital flows have already started and will continue to flow to entities with more mature ESG adoption. Although progress has been made in recent years on the G aspect of ESG by banks in Qatar thanks to recent regulation, more attention will be needed on the environmental and social elements of ESG in the future. . “
Mujtaba, shared his thoughts on the future of ESG reporting for entities, where he said: “Access to capital will ultimately be driven by ESG performance, and to facilitate this, the Qatar Stock Exchange will introduce mandatory ESG reporting. for listed entities, including banks. , from January 2022 as well as an ESG index later in the year.
Swinburne also shared her insights from a broader perspective where she mentioned: “ESG reporting is a priority for policymakers and legislators around the world. As many countries seek to introduce mandatory reporting, the key will be the introduction of some form of common reporting standards that entities can follow to help ensure comparability and consistency. ”