Posted on: July 21st, 2011
The text below is an excerpt from a recent UKSIF document ‘Taking Responsibility: Achieving Resilience – Accelerating UK investment and finance leadership to calm tomorrow’s perfect storm’ unveiled at the House of Lords last week.
It is both a call to action for UK policy makers and a warning for the rest of us.
As the mess left behind by the banking crisis starts to be tidied up it is clear that we are moving towards even more uncertain times.
It is time for business – and the finance community in particular – to focus on the need to make the transition to more sustainable business practices and lifestyles. If we fail to do so the fallout will be far more damaging and long lasting than recent events.
Yet in spite of this clear message the tone of the speeches that surrounded its launch were uplifting.
Whilst there are challenges ahead they bring with them opportunities. Opportunities for investors and of course for UK Plc.
The UK has a heritage of strong leadership in this field and there is no time like the present to pick up the mantle and start tackling the challenges head on.
The challenges of the past have led to socially valuable innovations like insurance, pensions and trade finance. Averting the coming “perfect storm” will similarly require positive financial innovation to reallocate capital at speed, manage unfamiliar risks and enable new lifestyles and income sources. For this reason, sustainable finance is central to the global transition to well-being within a resilient resource-efficient economy.
The UK finance sector must take first mover advantage to avoid missing out on this key strategic opportunity for its continued success internationally and its economic and social contribution at home. If we get it right, the UK can remain a world leader in sustainable investment and finance. If we get it wrong, we will be left behind.
Today, we are all working our way out of one global crisis, the warning signs of which went largely unrecognised. The next crisis is plainly visible and even more challenging. Everyone – the investment and finance industry, asset owners, government & regulators and civil society – must play their part to accelerate the drive to sustainable investment and finance. Together, we must ensure that investment and finance takes responsibility and delivers resilience both in the UK and around the world.”