Market leaders BNP Paribas Fortis and BNP Paribas Asset Management welcome new Febelfin label for Sustainable and Socially Responsible Investment.

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BNP Paribas Fortis, the largest bank in Belgium and market leader in the field of sustainable and socially-responsible investment, and BNP Paribas Asset Management, the BNP Paribas Group’s fund management specialist which is the market leader in sustainable and socially-responsible investment in this country, welcome the new label created by Belgium’s financial sector federation Febelfin, as a valuable step on the way to creating a more sustainable society.

The latest MIRA report* reveals that total funds placed in Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) vehicles increased more than three-fold over the 2013-2017 period, from €7.7 billion at end-2013 to €24.1 billion at end-2017, 35.61% of which was managed by market leader BNP Paribas Asset Management.

Both BNP Paribas Asset Management and BNP Paribas Fortis nevertheless acknowledge that there is still a long way to go to increase the appeal of SRIs among a wider public. A recognisable label can help to achieve this aim.

Stéphane Vermeire, General Manager Private Banking & Wealth Management, BNP Paribas Fortis, underlined: “Given the Bank’s size in the Belgian market, BNP Paribas Fortis has a moral duty to play a proactive role in working towards a more sustainable society. In fact, there is clear customer demand for solutions that balance the aims of sustainability and return on investment. Since 2015 BNP Paribas Fortis customer advisors have played a full role in this regard. I think the fact that 180,000 BNP Paribas Fortis investors have already opted for SRI products is a very promising sign.”

Marnix Arickx, CEO of BNP Paribas Asset Management in Belgium, added: “It’s vital that customers should understand just how their investments can contribute to positive change. Banks and asset managers have a responsibility to direct investment towards the right sectors and companies. A label that is recognised across the whole sector can be helpful in this respect."

BNP Paribas Fortis decided back in 2015 to make SRI an integral part of the Bank’s DNA. This means that BNP Paribas Fortis customer advisors first suggest an SRI product before any discussion of a non-sustainable variant takes place. This resulted in a seven-fold increase in SRI-invested volumes over the 2013 - 2017 period.

This trend continued in 2018. At 31 December, more than 180,000 BNP Paribas Fortis customers had invested a total of more than €11 billion in SRI products via investment funds, funds of funds, structured products or insurance products. The major portion – €9 billion – was managed on their behalf by BNP Paribas Asset Management. Some €7 billion of the €9 billion was managed through the BNP Paribas Private SRI Fund. A BEVEK/SICAV under Belgian law, this is currently the largest global strategic SRI fund in the euro zone.

Chart in attachment: Sustainable and socially-responsible investments by BNP Paribas Fortis customers. Figures show total invested assets at year-end in € billion.

*Report entitled ‘Duurzaam Sparen en Beleggen in België Actualisatie tot 2017 en nieuwe trends en inzichten’ (Sustainable Savings & Investments in Belgium, updated to 2017, plus new trends and insights), published on 27 November 2018. Commissioned by Milieurapport Vlaanderen (MIRA), the report was compiled in cooperation with the University of Antwerp and Forum Ethibel. You can download the report from: http://www.forumethibel.org/content_files/MIRAForumEthibel2018.pdf

 

BNP Paribas Fortis (www.bnpparibasfortis.com) offers the Belgian market a comprehensive range of financial services for private individuals, the self-employed, professionals, companies and public organisations. In the insurance sector, BNP Paribas Fortis works closely, as a tied agent, with Belgian market leader AG Insurance. At international level, the Bank also provides high-net-worth individuals, large corporations and public and financial institutions with customised solutions, for which it is able to draw on the know-how and international network of the BNP Paribas Group.

BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) is a leading bank in Europe with an international reach. It has a presence in 73 countries, with more than 196,000 employees, including around 149,000 in Europe. The Group has key positions in its three main activities: Domestic Markets and International Financial Services (whose retail-banking networks and financial services are covered by Retail Banking & Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking, which serves two client franchises: corporate clients and institutional investors. The Group helps all its clients (individuals, community associations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, corporates and institutional clients) to realise their projects through solutions spanning financing, investment, savings and protection insurance. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the European leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail-banking model in Mediterranean countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas as well as a solid and fast-growing business in Asia-Pacific.

BNP Paribas Asset Managementis the investment management arm of BNP Paribas, one of the worlds major financial institutions.Managing EUR 399 billion* in assets as at 31 December 2018, BNP Paribas Asset Management offers a comprehensiverangeof active, passive and quantitative investment solutions covering a broadspectrum of asset classes and regions. With more than 500 investment professionals and around 500 clientservicingspecialists, BNP Paribas Asset Managementserves individual, corporate and institutional investors in 71 countries around the world. Since 2002, BNP Paribas Asset Management has been a major player in sustainable and responsible investing.

* Managing and advising EUR 537 billion in assets as at 31 December 2018



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