Mon, 08 Nov 2021

With transport on the agenda at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) it’s a good time to reflect on what we’re already doing at BNP Paribas Personal Finance to contribute to our shared global sustainability challenge.

Whilst COP26 is triggering many organisations to make a commitment to sustainability, for BNP Paribas Personal Finance this commitment is already core to our company’s purpose:

To promote access to more responsible and sustainable consumption to support our customers and partners.  

COP26 is staged in recognition that tackling our global sustainability challenge requires a joined-up approach, with all nations working together to achieve the same goal.  As a global bank, BNP Paribas takes the same approach, ensuring we work as a joined up ‘One Bank’ aligned to the same mission across the different divisions and markets we operate within across the globe.

Over the last ten years, BNP Paribas has been committed to creating a business model that makes the bank an ‘accelerator’ of the ecological transition.

BNP Paribas has proactively increased its positive impact by integrating environmental and climate elements within financial solutions and has financed investment in renewables that is valued at over £17 billion globally.  The bank has worked to reduce negative sustainability impacts through an evolution in its financing and investments strategy, pulling back from carbon intensive industries such as coal-powered electricity.

Within BNP Paribas Personal Finance we’re ensuring we can provide the investment consumers need to adopt to more sustainable ways of living, particularly within motoring and home improvements.

We’re poised to launch motor finance for Electric Vehicles, which previously had not been easy for consumers to access due to risk around battery and the residual values associated with early-stage technology.  We are also looking at what else the market will need in response to consumers adopting new technology.  For example, in the UK as the government funded EV Charger OLEV grant tapers away in March 2022, the burden will fall to homeowners to fund EV Charger installation. Dedicated personal finance solutions for this need will remove another barrier which may hold back drivers switching to EVs.

Our One Bank approach means that we work closely with our colleagues within sister BNP Paribas businesses, such as Arval, who provide vehicle leasing solutions.  BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s Stock Finance Facility is a great example of customer-centric collaboration, helping our motor dealership customers access and finance second-hand stock handed over by Arval’s customers.  This capability will be key to help motor dealerships access used EV stock and respond to growing consumer demand to adopt EVs within the used market sector and enable EVs to be accessible to a broader range of drivers, who may be deterred by the initial list price of EVs or who are not eligible for a car via their employer.

Working together as One Bank means that we’re also using Arval’s expertise to support our own colleagues at BNP Paribas Personal Finance to make the switch to EV adoption through Arval Ignition.  Our salary sacrifice product is not just helping our own colleagues, but builds on Arval’s own track record of working with a diverse range of customers to enable their employees to access motoring benefits which now includes the option to go electric.

Whilst in the UK tax incentives are encouraging car drivers to switch to EV through their employer or business, our research indicates that the biggest trigger is from drivers own desire to opt for a sustainable solution.  With investment in brand new EVs still higher than petrol and diesel powered cars, without company salary exchange programmes, many drivers would not find it as easy to make the switch to EV if they were self-funding.  It’s another example of how by developing financial services to respond to needs driven by our switch to more sustainable living, BNP Paribas Personal Finance is playing our part.

We watch with interest to see what initiatives and commitments come forward as an outcome of COP26, but meanwhile at BNP Paribas Personal Finance we continue to work with a One Bank approach, working together to contribute to addresses our shared sustainability challenges.