ESG rating upgraded to ‘leader’

13 May 2021

Influential ratings agency MSCI has given HSBC an ESG rating of AA. This represents an upgrade to a ‘leader’ rating from an ‘average’ BBB rating in 2020.

MSCI assesses global banks’ exposure to environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and how well they manage them, relative to peers. “HSBC leads peers on most assessed key issues,” the ratings agency said.

Highlights of MSCI’s report include:

  • A significant increase in our scores for employee engagement and talent and skills development
  • Praise for extensive board involvement in incorporating climate considerations into our business strategy
  • Praise for our strong performance in customer complaints handling and financial education
  • Achieving the highest scoring range for corporate governance

ESG ratings are an important tool to help investors assess our resilience to ESG risks, and our appeal as an investment opportunity. They are also often used by clients when choosing a bank for bond issuances, particularly where these include a sustainability component.

Taking action on ESG

Our bold new climate ambition, which set out our net zero targets, and our unprecedented support for customers and colleagues during the COVID-19 pandemic, were some of HSBC’s ESG highlights in 2020.

Information on our ESG performance is set out extensively in the Annual Report and Accounts 2020 , which explains the actions we’re taking to meet our responsibilities to customers, communities and other stakeholders around the world. It also summarised our progress against key non-financial targets and metrics .