Nordea Studio: Problem Statement 1

Banks want to scale up advice to customers on sustainability

Sustainability, alongside risk and return, has become an important consideration for all companies. The challenge for banks now is to develop the expertise and tools needed to advise their clients on how to incorporate sustainability into their business models.

After the financial markets crashed in 1929, the idea of “risk” was firmly embedded amongst investors. Risk became a vital factor in evaluating future profits and an entire industry evolved around how to measure and manage it. But it didn’t happen overnight. It took banks years to develop the appropriate tools, infrastructure and knowledge base to best advise clients on risk.

With the future of our planet in such a perilous state, sustainability is now emerging alongside risk and return to become increasingly important for all companies. The challenge for banks now is to develop the expertise and tools needed to advise their clients on how to incorporate sustainability into their business models. This will not only help position banks to actively finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but will also help unlock this emerging market.

The challenge: How might we evolve banking to become a better advisor in order to drive SMEs in a sustainable direction?