(Reuters) – Major Swiss banks and insurance companies will need to provide qualitative and quantitative information on the risks they face from climate change, Swiss financial watchdog FINMA said on Monday when it released an amended publication on disclosure. The circular on the new commitments, which enter into force on 1 July, follows similar measures by the European Central Bank, which last year announced plans to ask lenders in the 19-country currency union to disclose their climate-related risks.
The Swiss watchdog said it was meeting its strategic objective of contributing to the sustainable development of the Swiss financial center by specifying how it will monitor banks and insurers for climate-related financial risk.
FINMA said that it created the disclosure requirement after talking to the industry. representatives, academics, NGOs and the federal government last year. The watchdog has previously said that the risks such as natural disasters are significant for the sector and deserved new information standards.
"Banks and insurance companies are obliged to inform the public sufficiently about their risks," FINMA said in a statement. "These also include the consequences of climate change, which in the long run can pose significant financial risks for financial institutions."
Credit Suisse has been at the crossroads of climate activists, including protesters who blocked access to its Zurich headquarters due to complaints. the financing of fossil fuel-related projects. Reinsurer Swiss Re said in April that the global economy could lose almost a fifth of economic output by 2050 if the world does not control climate change.