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BUSINESSTODAY 3 February 2022

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2 NEWS 3.2.2022 HSBC appoints first head of sustainable finance for Europe commercial banking HSBC has appointed current Ire- land CEO and Head of Banking Alan Duffy as its first Head of Sustaina- ble Finance for Europe Commercial Banking. In his new role Alan will drive HS- BC's efforts to help business custom- ers in Europe make the transition to net zero carbon emissions. is is a key element of HSBC Commercial Banking's strategy to be the leading international corporate bank in Eu- rope, and is also part of the HSBC Group's 'Business Plan for the Plan- et'; a set of actions and a commit- ment of between US$750bn and US$1trn to drive sustainable transi- tions around the world. Alan is widely acknowledged as a key figure in European sustainable finance, having led many signature transactions for HSBC customers. Alan said: "Europe is the gravita- tional centre for global sustainable finance, both in terms of setting policy and overall market activities. A rapidly increasing number of our European clients are establishing Science Based targets (SBTs) to an- chor their transition journeys and to embed ESG in their operations. We must be positioned at the epicentre of this once-in-a-generation trans- formation." He added: "Being afforded the op- portunity to help our teams support our clients in such a cutting edge and rich ecosystem is compelling. I am looking forward to drawing on the cultural diversity of our European business and the opportunity to help cross-pollinate ideas and best prac- tice from within the region and from the wider HSBC Group." Following a number of years at Sco- tia Bank and ING, Alan joined HSBC in 2007 to launch its Irish corporate banking offering before becoming chief executive of the Irish branch in 2014. He will continue as CEO and Head of Banking at HSBC Ireland until a new appointment is made to that position, and he will remain based in Dublin. Earlier this month HSBC appoint- ed Natalie Blyth as its Global Head of Commercial Banking Sustainability. Natalie said: "Alan's personal ener- gy, his passion for sustainability and his deep understanding of Europe- an corporate banking will be a huge asset to our customers across the region. I'm delighted he'll be on the team as we tackle the critical mission that is the transition to net zero." Joyce Grech, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC Malta, welcomed the appointment: "I am looking forward to working with Alan and drawing on his vast experience to support our local commercial cus- tomers in their transition journeys." Alan Duffy, first Head of Sustainable Finance for HSBC Europe Commercial Banking MEETINGS held between the Central Bank of Malta and non-financial corpo- rations during the fourth quarter of 2021 show that: • Overall positive business conditions have softened somewhat. • Short-term expectations about busi- ness activity declined slightly. • Investment plans have largely re- mained on track. • Firms plan additional recruitment. • Firms have continued to express concerns about labour shortages. • Cost pressures have remained el- evated and are partly reflected in higher selling prices. In the fourth quarter of 2021, positive business conditions softened somewhat, with a lower net percentage of firms re- porting an improvement in activity over the three months preceding the interview. is share decreased from 49% in the third quarter to 36% in the final quarter of 2021. During the quarter under review, 57% of firms contacted reported higher activity while 21% reported a decrease. Almost half of the firms interviewed re- ported that they expect business activity to expand over the next three months, while 16% anticipated a decline. A net share of 33% expected an amelioration in near term business activity, slightly down from 37% in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the share of contacts reporting that the outlook was uncertain receded marginally. Cost pressures have remained elevated in the quarter under review, with almost three-fourths of contacts reporting that input prices have increased and no firm mentioning price decreases. In part due to elevated cost pressures, 47% of firms inter- viewed reported an increase in their selling prices, with an equal percentage reporting unchanged prices. Only 6% of respondents reported decreases in selling prices. In the fourth quarter, 78% of respond- ents claimed to have continued their in- vestment plans as scheduled, while 14% reported postponement. e share of re- spondents that cancelled investment plans fell marginally to 2%. In view of positive conditions, a net 38% of firms plan to increase their staff com- plement, marginally above 37% in the pre- vious quarter. However, firms have con- tinued to express concerns about labour shortages. is publication also includes a box which outlines initial insights gathered from a pilot survey with 17 companies on the impact of Brexit on firms. Slightly less than half of respondents stated that they have been impacted negatively by Brexit, in particular due to higher costs, more regulation, as well as longer delivery lead times. Central Bank of Malta publishes first 2022 edition of business dialogue publication

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