SC Ventures, the innovation branch of Standard Chartered Bank, has launched a new digital platform that is focused on helping UK savers fund the fight against climate change.
Shoal – powered by Starling Banking Services – will launch next year and will invest in green and sustainable projects exclusively and will give savers who use it the ability to select the type of project their money supports.
According to Standard Chartered, the first offering on the Shoal marketplace will be a savings account, where customers will be invited to select from a shortlist of options including renewable energy, community development and clean water. Once a theme in chosen, the money will be used exclusively to fund projects aligned with those themes – with savers given regular updates on the projects they have helped fund, as well as a competitive rate of return.
The company added that Shoal ‘signifies a major development’ in the UK banking sector, combining Standard’s sustainability leadership with Starling Bank’s ‘best in-class’ digital capabilities and banking-as-a-service offering in the UK. Shoal will be added to the Starling Marketplace soon, enabling its customers to benefit from the offering as well, with the aim of the partnership wo expand Shoal into Europe.
Standard Chartered chief executive Bill Winters said, “Our vision is to become the world’s most sustainable and responsible bank. While we looked to the COP26 conference to accelerate government action, our partnership with Starling Bank is an example of the private sector taking decisive steps to scale climate investment. With Shoal, we’re excited to build a platform that will unlock much-needed retail capital to fund sustainable projects in parts of the world where the impact will be greatest and give savers the power to make good money, whilst making money do good.”
SC Ventures head Alex Manson added, “Sustainability is one of the high conviction themes for SC Ventures as we explore different business models. With Shoal, we are creating a new venture to address the growing need of retail clients for sustainable financial and non-financial products, starting with UK and expanding to other markets over time.”
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