HSBC Suspends Senior Executive Over Climate Remarks
HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings' head of responsible investment has been suspended pending an internal inquiry after he said that central bank policymakers and other world authorities are misrepresenting the financial consequences of climate change.
The senior executive of HSBC, Stuart Kirk, made the remarks at a conference, drawing criticism from climate activists.
Chief executive Noel Quinn and Nuno Matos, head of HSBC's wealth and personal banking business, said Kirk's remarks did not represent those of the firm.
Quinn wrote on LinkedIn, "I did not agree at all with the comments made by Kirk at the FT Moral Money Summit."
He added, "They are inconsistent with HSBC’s strategy and do not reflect the views of the senior leadership of HSBC or HSBC Asset Management."
Matos said he “completely agreed” with Quinn’s condemnation, writing “the transition to net-zero is of utmost importance to us and we will strive for ways to help our clients on this journey.”
Beau O’Sullivan, a senior campaigner on the Bank on our Future campaign, said:
"HSBC should be asking Mr Kirk to resign: his comments are inexcusable and completely neglect the impacts of the climate crisis being felt by the global south right now."