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Monetary Authority of Singapore appoints chief sustainability officer

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Gillian Tan will lead the central bank’s sustainability efforts and contribution to Singapore’s net zero goals.

  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has appointed Gillian Tan as its new chief sustainability officer.
  • She will lead the bank’s Sustainability Group (SG), intended to coordinate MAS’ sustainability initiatives.
  • Central banks are appointing more sustainability roles at top management level as they work towards establishing greener financial systems.

Tan has taken on the new role alongside her existing position of assistant managing director. She joined MAS in 2015 as an executive director.

She is replacing Dr Darian McBain, who is leaving MAS to pursue other interests having joined the bank in October 2021. McBain has taken an advisory role until she departs in December 2022.

MAS established Sustainability Group in 2021 to boost decarbonisation efforts

Dr McBain was the first chief sustainability officer ever appointed at MAS. The position was created in October 2021 alongside the formation of the bank’s SG.

The SG is intended to coordinate MAS’ green finance and sustainability agenda. The four key goals are strengthening the financial sector’s resilience against climate risks, developing a green finance ecosystem to support Asia’s transition to a low-carbon future, identifying strategic green finance collaborations and reducing MAS’ carbon footprint.

The central bank has now expanded the segment to boost coordination across other internal arms, such as the Development and International Group and the Financial Supervision Group. SG will also coordinate MAS’ involvement in global and regional sustainable finance forums and work with the rest of the Singapore Government to achieve sustainability goals.

MAS managing director Ravi Menon said: “Promoting sustainable finance and climate resilience have grown significantly in the last two years as areas of priority for MAS. MAS is grateful to Darian for leading our Sustainability Group, fronting our engagements with external stakeholders, and contributing to the growth of Singapore’s sustainable finance ecosystem. She was instrumental in the setting up of the ESG Impact Hub.” 

Central banks are catalysts in the transition to a net zero economy

According to the central bank of Spain, Banco de España, central banks may have an important role as catalysts of climate goals, as their actions can be taken as an example by other organisations. They are working on how to incorporate climate and sustainability-related aspects in their agendas, including around monetary policy frameworks.

The financial sector is expected to see an increasing number of sustainability appointments at top management level as banks continue working on their net zero goals and establishing a greener financial system.

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