In a commitment to driving sustainable growth, United Overseas Bank has integrated environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into its full suite of investment solutions.

Responding to growing customer demand, UOB will offer solutions such as unit trusts, bonds and structured products enabling customers to support environmental and social causes across numerous segments.

In particular, UOB cited its Asset Management’s United Sustainable Credit Income Fund and the Allianz Global Sustainability Fund, alongside green bonds selected from various constituents of the Bloomberg MSCI Green Bond Index.

More broadly, the ESG-focused structured products centre on three principal themes: healthcare, technology and the European Green Deal.

Jacquelyn Tan, head of group personal financial services, said the firm had been encouraged by “customers strong interest in sustainable investing”, highlighted through the impressive growth of product transactions this year.

Taking the period of 2020, up until 30 September, UOB recorded S$200 million ($146.5m) in ESG product transactions for its customers.

Referring to the results of the recent UOB ASEAN Consumer Sentiment Study, Tan explained: “The study found that almost nine in ten consumers in Singapore are interested to find out more about sustainable investing, will consider making a sustainable investment or already have sustainable investments in their portfolios. This openness to sustainable investing can be attributed to their understanding that sustainable investments provide financial returns while enabling them to do good. In forging a sustainable future with our customers, we will continue to roll out more solutions that will enable them to contribute to the social and environmental well-being of the wider community.”

Building on the bank’s Risk-First wealth advisor approach, the integration of ESG into UOB’s retail investment solutions will continue to prioritise the protection and safeguarding of customer assets, before taking on more risk in the form of tactical investments.

Tan said: “We are committed to making the right financial products accessible to different customer segments. This extends to the provision of responsible solutions to all our customers so that they too can play their part in sustainable development simply through every investment they make. In encouraging and helping our customers to reshape their investment portfolios, we are partnering them to invest wisely and responsibly, and to do good while achieving returns on their investments.”

The firm have also developed a structured due diligence framework for the selection of solution providers, ensuring all partners demonstrate their commitment to addressing ESG risks and opportunities.

Solution providers must have operationalised policies and processes in place, alongside an alignment with globally-recognised standards from the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and CDP5.