HSBC Private Banking raised more than $2.3bn of private client funding for alternative investments globally in 2020.

This was across a wide range of product solutions including hedge funds, private equity, private credit, and a private REIT strategy. Despite the global Covid-19 pandemic, this was a 90% increase on 2019’s $1.2bn figure.

In addition, the number of clients investing in alternatives jumped by 26% compared to 2019.

Furthermore, in Asia, HSBC raised $1.341bn for alternative investments in 2020, while EMEA raised $963m over the same period.

Henry Lee, global head of alternatives, HSBC Private Banking, said: “Not only are we seeing an increased demand for alternative investments from our clients because of the depth, breadth and quality of our capability, but alternative investments are becoming recognised as an indispensable part of clients’ portfolios if they are to achieve their long-term strategic initiatives.

“We continue to build upon the service offering to ensure that clients can access the best risk/return alternative investments across the spectrum of liquid and private markets and have a particular focus on developing and providing access to bespoke solutions across credit opportunities, secondary private equity, co-investments and impact.”

In March, the board at HSBC has tabled a resolution committing the firm to a phase out of financing coal-fired power and thermal coal mining by 2030 across the EU and OECD.

The resolution, put to a vote at the AGM on 28 May 2021, follows months of negotiations between HSBC and a $2.4trn coalition of investors led by campaign group ShareAction.

This week, HSBC, which channelled more than $15bn to coal developers from October 2018 and October 2020, pledged a series of commitments to fight the climate crisis, following pressure from the coalition.

The announcement comes after ShareAction field a shareholder proposal in January, calling on HSBC to reduce its exposure to fossil fuels.

The coalition, including Amundi and Man Group, agreed to withdraw the shareholder proposal in exchange for a board-backed resolution, but pledged to take further action next year if the bank failed to adequately implement new commitments.