HSBC suspends head of responsible investing

HSBC has suspended Stuart Kirk, head of responsible investing at HSBC Asset Management, over comments he has made on the climate crisis.

Speaking at the FT’s Moral Money conference last week, Kirk gave a talk entitled “Why investors need not worry about climate risk”, in which he suggested climate warnings are “unsubstantiated” and that the impact of climate change including flood risk will not happen for 20 or 30 years.

HSBC’s chief executive Noel Quinn has since said that Kirk’s comments are, “Inconsistent with HSBC’s strategy and do not reflect the views of the senior leadership of HSBC or HSBC Asset Management”. Kirk was appointed head of responsible investing in July 2021. HSBC are currently conducting an internal review of his comments.