G. Hantzinikolaou (Piraeus Bank): The decisive role of banks for sustainable development

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The banking sector has a decisive contribution and a leading role for the transition to sustainable development, which is called to change its operation and adapt to the new conditions and requirements created by climate change, said the President of Piraeus Bank George Hantzinikolaou, from the podium of the conference The Future of Sustainable Finance organized by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission.

As at least 7 trillion will be required annually. to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement – one third of US GDP – is self-evident that the banking system, which provides two-thirds of the world economy, development, said Mr. Hantzinikolaou.

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“Especially in Greece, which after a ten-year crisis lost more than 25% of GDP, achieving growth rates and restoring lost ground, but in a sustainable way that respects the environment and responds to the challenges of climate change, is the contribution of the banking system is crucial “, as he noted and added that the main growth lever is the Recovery Fund which emphasizes the energy transition, the green economy and the digital transformation. “Banks have a key role to play in utilizing the Fund’s resources, from highlighting the opportunities it offers for businesses to the process of allocating resources and monitoring investments,” said the President of Piraeus Bank.

In this context, worldwide and in Greece, the banking system will have to change the way it operates as well as its strategic and business choices, in order to support the structural changes that the economy and entrepreneurship need to achieve sustainable growth. Mr. Hantzinikolaou characteristically referred to rules established by the European supervisory authorities and create in the banks the need for a new methodology regarding the assessment and management of the risks from climate change, for the integration of the risks in the financing decisions, individually but in its areas. economy with a negative environmental footprint, with a shift to “green” sectors, and the impact of these risks on existing loans.

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Piraeus Bank implements a network of actions for climate change, having as a key priority to actively contribute to sustainable development. In this context, it is the only Greek bank that participated in the formation of the Global Principles for Responsible Banking (Principles for Responsible Banking), along with 29 other member banks of UNEP-FI from around the world and once again is included in the index Sustainability FTSE4Good Emerging Index by FTSE Russell, for its performance in environment, society and governance (Environmental, Social, Governance – ESG).

Source: Capital

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