Scotland sees hundreds 'gather' to shape more ethical financial future

A global summit convened virtually from Scotland will next month bring together hundreds of professionals in an effort to build a more ethical finance system.

Thursday, 10th September 2020, 4:45 pm
Simon Thompson, chief executive officer at the Chartered Banker Institute; Gail Hurley, senior adviser to the Global Ethical Finance Initiative; and Thom Kenrick, head of social strategy at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The key focus of Ethical Finance 2020 will be on delivering a green recovery post-pandemic and “seizing the opportunities” of COP26 in Scotland. More than 300 organisations, representing some £22 trillion in assets, are due to take part.

The summit is being staged over four days from 5 to 8 October by the Edinburgh-based Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) in conjunction with the Scottish Government and the United Nations Development Programme.

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Royal Bank of Scotland is the host partner and the global event is supported by Chartered Banker and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.

Speakers set to participate include filmmaker and campaigner Richard Curtis, Royal Bank of Scotland parent NatWest Group chief executive Alison Rose and outgoing Standard Life Aberdeen chief executive Keith Skeoch.

Gail Hurley, senior advisor to GEFI, said: “It is now widely recognised that the financial services sector has a fundamental role to play in delivering universally supported targets such as the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as well as supporting economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“However, despite its potential, the current financial system can be a cause – rather than a solution – to some of the pressing challenges our planet and its people currently face.”

Thom Kenrick, head of social strategy at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Over the past four years we have seen the conversation around ethical finance develop and mature at an incredible pace. Ethical Finance is a truly global summit of leading thinkers who are committed to developing social and sustainable financial systems.

“As Scotland looks forward to 2021 and COP26, this event is more relevant than ever. We look forward to being part of the conversation as we continue to embed purpose and sustainability into our strategy.”

Ethical finance in the UK is valued at around £40 billion, creating thousands of sustainable job opportunities. Scotland has a long history of social enterprise with a growing reputation in ethical finance.

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