Climate Skeptic HSBC Banker Suspended for Honesty?

Essay by Eric Worrall

A few days ago, WUWT applauded HSBC’s Stuart Kirk for revealing how head bankers like himself are being pressured to add unrealistic assumptions to climate models, like a $200 carbon tax, to produce results which conform to the desired political narrative. Now Stuart has been suspended pending investigation.

HSBC suspends head of responsible investing who called climate warnings ‘shrill’

Bank investigating Stuart Kirk’s conference speech deriding flooding risks and climate warnings from UN and Bank of England

Kalyeena Makortoff
Banking correspondent @kalyeena
Mon 23 May 2022 08.10 AEST

HSBC has suspended a senior banker after he referred to climate crisis warnings as “unsubstantiated” and “shrill” during a conference speech that has since been denounced by the lender’s chief executive.

Stuart Kirk, who has been HSBC’s head of responsible investing since last July, will remain suspended until the bank completes an internal investigation into the matter.

HSBC came under pressure to fire Kirk after he gave a presentation in London entitled “why investors need not worry about climate risk”, in which he made light of major flooding risks, and complained about having to spend time “looking at something that’s going to happen in 20 or 30 years”.

HSBC declined to comment on Kirk’s suspension, which was first reported by the Financial Times. Kirk did not respond to requests to comment sent via LinkedIn or Twitter.

Read more:

The following is Stuart Kirk’s presentation.

In my opinion this workplace suspension has a huge potential to hurt HSBC’s reputation.

When people entrust a bank with their money, what they prize above all else is honesty. We’ve all seen the caricatures of greedy bankers, and I’m not denying that there are cases where bankers have abused the trust of their clients, but the reality is a trust relationship with clients is fundamental to conducting business. You don’t give your money to someone unless you trust them, and believe they are honest.

But this suspension has demonstrated that in some circumstances, honesty at HSBC may be a punishable offence.

It doesn’t matter whether you believe Stuart Kirk was right. Stuart spoke his mind, he gave an honest opinion – and has now apparently been suspended, presumably because HSBC top management thinks his honesty was inconvenient or embarrassing.

How can investors trust HSBC bankers to tell the truth, if telling the truth could result in a workplace suspension? How can anyone trust a HSBC advisor to tell the truth about anything climate related, like the true value and risk profile of climate related investments, if everyone knows their HSBC financial advisor is looking over their shoulder?

Consider your actions carefully HSBC. A lot of eyes are watching your next move.

via Watts Up With That?

May 23, 2022 at 08:56AM

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