Share Action

UBS urged to seize opportunity to scale up climate plan

ShareAction calls for investors to vote down the bank’s existing climate strategy for failing to deal with Credit Suisse’s legacy of coal and fracking exposure

(Wednesday 29th March) Following the merger between Credit Suisse and UBS last week, responsible investment NGO ShareAction are calling for the new banking entity to close concerning loopholes in its sustainability policy.

Jeanne Martin, Head of Banking Programme at ShareAction, said: “The detail of how exactly UBS’s acquisition of Credit Suisse will impact its climate strategy remains unclear. Yet, as they stood pre-merger, these banks had some of the poorest climate policies in the European banking sector.

UBS has not committed to phase out coal on a defined timescale, and will have considerably enlarged its exposure to the dirty and dangerous fuel through the acquisition. UBS will also likely inherit Credit Suisse’s important fracking client base, whilst currently having no restrictions in place on fracking due to its previously small exposure.

Regardless of how the banks organise policies, they must use this unique opportunity to ensure an ambitious climate plan is at the core of the merged company’s new strategy, one that reflects the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s verdict that we need action ‘now or never’ if we are to keep global warming to 1.5C.”

ShareAction is urging investors to vote down the company’s existing climate policy plan at its AGM next week on the 5th April for failing to deal with the legacy of Credit Suisse’s fracking and coal financing.

Notes to editors

ShareAction published an analysis of UBS and Credit Suisse’s Say on Climate plans on 22nd March, which demonstrates the existing loopholes in each prior to the merger.

UBS ranked 24th out of 25 in ShareAction’s latest ranking of the climate practices of Europe’s largest 25 banks. Yet, in its latest climate update UBS failed to update its fossil fuel policy, and omitted capital markets activities from its targets and disclosures, despite this being the source of 90 per cent of the financing it provided to 50 of the biggest oil and gas expanders from 2016-2021.

Credit Suisse ranked 20th with a score of 41 per cent, and was found to have one of the weakest oil and gas policies in the sector. Another ShareAction report from February 2022 found that Credit Suisse had channelled more than US$18 billion into 50 top oil and gas expanders between 2016 and 2021 and 77 per cent of Credit Suisse’s of this financing was in the form of capital markets activities, which are excluded from its current targets.

Credit Suisse was Europe’s second largest provider of financing to fracking companies and provided $15.83 billion to top tracking companies between 2016 and 2021, according to RAN.

Latest News