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Shinhan Financial chief joins UNEP FI’s Leadership Council

South Korea’s Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-byoung was elected as a member of the Leadership Council, under the United Nations sustainability initiative between the organization and the global finance sector, the firm said Thursday.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative was created in 1992 between the UNEP and the financial sector to better encourage the adoption of sustainability in financial institutions around the world. So far 450 global financial institutions have joined the initiative voluntarily.

Cho was elected as the sole Asian member of the council, newly established following this year’s UN Climate Change Conference, which took place in Glasgow on Oct. 31-Nov. 12. The council will be chaired by UNEP Executive Director Inger Anderson with heads of 19 global financial institutions including Allianz, AXA, BNP Paribas, BBVA and Westpac working alongside Cho to lead the environment, social and governance trend in the finance sector.

The first meeting of the council is scheduled to take place on Nov. 24 via video conference.

Cho attended COP 26 earlier this month to introduce Shinhan Financial’s interim and long-term net-zero goals dubbed the “Zero Carbon Drive,” to the attendees.

Shinhan Financial Group recently reported its third-quarter net profit of 1.14 trillion won ($979.9 million), down 2.1 percent on-year. Its total assets stood at 638.7 trillion won as of end-September, ranking No.2 among local banking groups by size of assets in the period. KB Financial Group, Shinhan’s industry rival, ranked No.1 with 650.5 trillion won in the same period.

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