Credit Suisse faces investor call for more climate transparency

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ZURICH, March 31 (Reuters) - Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) faces a call to strengthen its climate strategy and disclosures at its 2022 annual general meeting from a group of investors who said on Thursday that its new commitments to limit fossil fuel financing fell short.

Switzerland's second largest bank on Wednesday published the agenda for its AGM on April 29, where the investors are putting forward a proposal requiring additional disclosures on how Credit Suisse plans to align its financing with the objectives of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. read more

Banks are under intense pressure from investors to stop financing fossil fuel development to limit climate change and to help businesses transition from a carbon economy.

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The $2.5 trillion group, which includes Swiss pension fund adviser Ethos Foundation and Europe's biggest asset manager Amundi (AMUN.PA), put forward demands this month including cutting the bank's exposure to fossil fuel assets. read more

While Credit Suisse has since set new targets to reduce its exposure, the shareholder group on Thursday said the new commitments fell short. read more

"Whilst we welcome the bank's recent climate commitments, these fail to cover the bulk of the bank's exposure to high-carbon assets," Jeanne Martin, Senior Campaign Manager at responsible investment NGO ShareAction coordinating the resolution alongside Ethos, said.

"We call on shareholders to vote for our resolution – and make their voting decision known to the bank and their peers," Martin added in a statement.

Key concerns included an omission of capital markets activities from the bank's new targets, ShareAction said.

A report published by ShareAction in February found nearly 80% of Credit Suisse's financial support for key companies which are still expanding their oil and gas activities was in the form of capital markets financing.

Credit Suisse's board of directors on Wednesday recommended shareholders vote against the proposal, saying that while it agreed with the objectives it did not believe the disclosures should come about by amending its articles of association.

"The Board intends to propose the required changes to the Articles of Association at the 2023 AGM," it said.

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Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Alexander Smith

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