On 2 March, Febelfin – the Belgian financial sector federation – announced the second round of sustainable financial products, such as investment funds, to be awarded its quality label.
At a time when sustainable finance is seeing growth and attracting an increasing number of clients, distributors BNP Paribas Fortis and Fintro, together with BNP Paribas Asset Management as the BNP Paribas group’s fund manager and its partner AG Insurance, welcome Febelfin’s decision to label their new products. These seven sustainable investment solutions are in addition to the 86 products included in the first wave to be awarded the “Towards Sustainability” label in late 2019.
BNP Paribas Fortis now offers its clients the broadest and most diversified range of sustainable investment products in Belgium, with 93 products now carrying this label (90 marketed by BNP Paribas Fortis and the three Fintro pension funds).
“BNP Paribas Fortis and its partner BNP Paribas Asset Management offer all their clients – private individuals, professionals and institutions – the broadest range of products, allowing them to invest in a diversified way across the main asset classes with an unrivalled guarantee in terms of meeting Environmental, Social and Governance criteria,” said Stéphane Vermeire, General Manager Private Banking & Wealth Management, BNP Paribas Fortis. “The label confirms our commitment to addressing society’s needs and meeting the sustainability expectations of our clients.”
The Febelfin label is a guarantee for investors that the relevant fund complies with its quality criteria in terms of sustainable and socially responsible investments. The label requires a higher level of transparency, based on recommendations made by a group of European experts regarding the distribution of sustainability funds to retail clients. It sets standards in three areas: transparency, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) analysis across all portfolios, and exclusions with low thresholds, not just regarding coal but also unconventional fossil fuels.
Although Febelfin’s sustainability label in Belgium is already one of the strictest in Europe, BNP Paribas Fortis and BNP Paribas Asset management have decided to raise the bar even higher by automatically excluding certain industries and defining a number of additional minimum requirements that sustainable financial products must meet before they can be included in the investment portfolio. As a result, the bank offers a selection of funds that apply the strictest criteria in terms of sustainability strategy.
Market leader in the SRI segment
Since 2015, BNP Paribas Fortis has made Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) products its default offering. This means that BNP Paribas Fortis investment advisers propose sustainable products first, before considering any alternative that is not designated as sustainable.
This strategy has enabled BNP Paribas Fortis to become Belgium’s market leader in SRI. Last year, BNP Paribas Fortis managed €19.4 billion of SRI-labelled products, a year-on-year increase of 73%, confirming its position as a leading player in the Belgian market in terms of sustainability.For more information about the Febelfin sustainability label, visit: www.towardssustainability.be