Deutsche Bank announces ESG boost

Plans include default ESG option and new ESG Centre of Excellence with Singapore central bank

Deutsche Bank has announced a wide-ranging set of measures to strengthen its ESG capabilities, including offering ESG as the default option for its wealth management clients from 2022 and offering at least one ESG option in every relevant product category by the end of the year.

The moves are part of an effort to “facilitate” €200bn in sustainable finance and investments by the end of 2023 – two years earlier than originally planned. €105bn of the target is expected to come from its investment bank with the remaining amount from private banking (€86bn) and corporate banking (€30bn). 

“We have to progress as quickly as possible from ambition to impact,” said CEO Christian Sewing. “Sustainability will thus become an integral part of our corporate culture.” 

Deutsche’s domestic private banking arm will offer at least one ESG option in every relevant product category by the end of this year under the strategy, while its international private bank, which includes the wealth management business, aims to make ESG investments the default for clients from 2022, converting at least a million clients’ investments to ‘ESG’ over the next few years. 

In addition, Deustche’s corporate bank plans to enter into a strategic ESG dialogue with its 2,000 or so multinational corporate clients. 

By the end of this year, half of the bank’s client-facing staff will be trained on its internal ‘taxonomy’ for sustainable finance, which it says is aligned with the EU’s  current taxonomy.  

Deutsche Bank also plans to boost its female leadership by appointing women to 35% of managing director, director and vice president positions by 2025. That figure currently stands at 29%.

The German giant, whose plans to do not cover the activities of its asset management arm DWS, will establish an ESG Centre of Excellence with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the city-state’s de facto central bank. The new body will focus on public and private ESG product development, advisory services and financing. It will be run by Kamran Khan, Deutsche Bank’s Head of ESG for the Asia-Pacific region.