Yasser was taking part in the online forum discussing Responsible Banking in a Global Inflationary Climate alongside panellists from the UK, Malaysia and India.
Highlighting the impact of COVID, he said that enduring a health crisis over the past two to three years had ‘created a significant acceleration of the focus on responsible investment’.
“The pandemic has heightened awareness and highlighted the important role all of us – from CEOs to middle managers – have to play in tackling climate change,” he said.
It must be embedded all over the financial services ecosystem, according to Yasser. With institutions in banking and super funds playing a crucial decision-making role in deciding where capital is invested, they can help focus on achieving the transition to net-zero.
“If we don’t play this important role in helping to progress, who will shoulder the responsibility,” Yasser asked.
“We know that governments all over the world are challenged and that there is a gap that the financial services sector can fill.
“It’s about aligning the responsibilities to shareholders and communities.
“What can be observed in the Australian market is that there is now a greater respect of climate change.
“It’s almost common practice to identify financial services institutions through their SDG goals.
“It’s also very clear from what’s happening is that financial institutions are adopting practices to ensure they are customer centric. They also have to offer their workforce a very compelling environment.
“If we think a little bit about the way the banking sector can play a role that’s consistent with sustainable practices, what’s apparent in the Australian market - where inflation is the topic of everyday conversations - is that banks are being very transparent.
“It’s experience that’s come from dealing with COVID. The pandemic has given them a window into a role they can play in supporting the community.”
Banks are supporting customers by delivering more education around financial well-being that is hitting TV screens or on budgeting tools as well as showing them how they can re-fill their savings or consolidate debt, he said.
Yasser was speaking on the panel session with Dr Vian Sharif; AmBank Islamic CEO Eqhwan Mokhzanee Muhammad at the session moderated by Professor Aditya Singh.