HSBC global head of responsible investment resigns after climate speech controversy

HSBC Asset Management’s Global Head of Responsible Investment Stuart Kirk has resigned from his position, several weeks after sparking controversy with remarks at a Financial Times conference. 

In a LinkedIn post today, Kirk wrote – “Ironically, given my job title, I have concluded that the bank’s behaviour towards me since my speech at a Financial Times conference in May has made my position, well unsustainable.”

He added, “Over a 27-year unblemished record in finance, journalism and consulting I have only ever tried to do the best for my clients and readers, knowing that doing so helps my employer too.”

Kirk was suspended by HSBC in May after he said central bank policymakers and other global authorities had exaggerated the financial risks of climate change at an industry conference.

It was unclear whether an internal investigation launched by the bank into Kirk’s comments was completed prior to Kirk’s LinkedIn post.

The bank, which has committed to playing a major role in leading the global economy in the transition to net zero, declined to comment on Kirk’s post.

HSBC CEO Noel Quinn also used a LinkedIn post in May to distance the bank and its senior leadership team from Kirk’s remarks.

“I hope my colleagues, customers and others will all know, from our work and my public comments, that HSBC is absolutely committed to a net zero future,” he said at the time.

©Markets Media Europe 2022

 

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