“Stakeholders in the financial sector are committed to promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth taking into account ESG (Environment, Society and Governance) criteria, and this desire was enshrined in 2021 in the Declaration of the Quebec financial center for a finance sustainable,” says Éric-Olivier Savoie. Initially, around 20 financial institutions signed up to the Statement, but just a few months later the number of signatories had doubled, and these institutions represented $1.35 trillion in assets under management. »

“The finance sector can help promote long-term sustainable economic growth by first promoting an allocation of capital to companies that are committed to meeting these ESG criteria in their activities. Lending institutions and investment companies are encouraged to direct capital to companies that include these factors in their production and distribution processes. »

“Signatories to the Declaration have several programs in place to support these goals. One of the pillars on which sustainable finance will be based will be the development of local expertise. At BNI, for example, the idea is to set up a team by 2025 to be responsible for the development of sustainable finance. Already a hundred people are busy with the thing at the National Bank. It is a commitment by the signatories to foster the establishment and growth of local teams and business units in sustainable finance. »

“Concretely, the Quebec financial sector is committed to supporting the local development of sustainable finance products and services. This includes, among other things, creating mutual funds and exchange-traded funds whose investments will be directed primarily to companies that comply with ESG criteria in their activities. »

“Signatories to the Declaration also commit to encouraging and fostering the growth of funds managed by locally established managers with leading expertise in responsible investing. They may be Quebec managers, but we also want to encourage American and international management firms to establish offices in Quebec by giving them management mandates. This, without neglecting local talent. BNI, for example, has set a target of $5 billion in assets that it has pledged to entrust to local managers who are signatories to the Declaration. Already 80% of this amount has been disbursed. »

“Sustainable finance is a great long-term societal project that inevitably comes up against several obstacles. We need only mention the still very significant participation of several financial institutions in the production of fossil fuels. The intention of Quebec participants in sustainable finance is not to force an immediate cessation of these practices, but rather to participate in the transition of the Quebec and Canadian economy towards clean energies by promoting the development of avenues of solution. according to medium and long term objectives. It is the responsibility of the financial sector to be part of the solution, and we must do so in a concerted way. »