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Promoting Sustainability: E-learning Courses for a Responsible and Effective Future

Thursday, 23 May 2024

by Andrea Briganti, Head of e-Learning at Indigita SA and Thomas Prola, Senior e-Learning and LMS Specialist at Indigita SA



Article 398 of the Code of Obligations requires that the mandate be exercised with due diligence. In the context of the financial intermediary, this requirement implies the need to rely on adequately trained and competent personnel. This principle must be applied not only to traditional financial services and products but also to emerging sectors such as cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, and sustainability (ESG). Therefore, it is essential to properly train employees to support any change.


The issue of sustainability is widely recognised: news and information that attract attention are frequent but also evoke some anxiety and uncertainty about the real actions taken to improve the global situation.


Although all countries agree on the actions to be taken, only some are actually implementing the agreements made in Paris under the watchful eye of Greta Thunberg.

Beyond political and regulatory aspects, the financial sector is the main catalyst towards ESG sustainability, having the necessary economic resources to meet the needs of customers and investors. Customers, for example, seek "green" mortgages to purchase or renovate homes sustainably or wish to invest in innovative and environmentally friendly financial products. Companies, on the other hand, need access to credit lines to make their facilities more efficient and ESG-friendly.


Despite the existence of guidelines (such as those of Swiss Banking), there are no specific regulatory obligations for Swiss financial intermediaries in the ESG field.

However, to meet increasing demand, financial intermediaries must offer products that meet ESG criteria and avoid "greenwashing," i.e., the attempt to deceive customers regarding the sustainability of financial products and services.


The Federal Council, as announced in 2022, intends to prevent this practice. Financial products and services can only be considered sustainable if they are compatible with or contribute to achieving specific sustainability goals.

In this context, providers of sustainable products or services must demonstrate how they intend to achieve sustainable investment goals and periodically report on progress. An independent verification must confirm compliance with transparency requirements. Customers must also be able to exercise their legal rights.


ESG regulation is set to intensify, and financial intermediaries will increasingly be called upon to comply with it. Evidence of this is that in February 2024, FINMA began consulting on a new circular related to climate risks, specifying which risks must be considered by governance for risk management in banks most exposed to credit risk.


The educational model of e-learning promotes sustainability through multiple dimensions, offering significant benefits in line with ESG standards. It reduces ecological impact, optimises resource use, and increases accessibility and educational inclusivity, supporting a variety of learning styles and ensuring flexibility and resource optimisation.


Indigita, in collaboration with Prometeia, currently offers four e-learning courses and plans to develop more in 2024 to raise awareness among financial institutions about their role in ESG issues and enable them in promoting products in line with sustainable finance principles.

 


About Indigita SA

Indigita SA is a Swiss regulatory (regtech) company headquartered in Geneva, which provides a suite of interactive trainings, digital tools and APIs to support financial institutions and their employees to conduct cross-border business in a safe and compliant way. Indigita is the regtech arm of the BRP Group and combines the industry-leading regulatory knowledge of its mother company BRP Bizzozero & Partners SA and its sister company BRP Tax SA with innovative digital channels. Indigita provides banks and asset managers efficient access to the most complete and up-to-date collection of cross-border rules for more than 190 jurisdictions.

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