OLYMPIA – On the heels of a record-breaking heat wave in the state, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) issued an alert to the financial services industries today, emphasizing the important role of financial institutions in addressing climate change as a systemic risk.
“Our financial systems operate in an increasingly complex world in which systemic risks magnify threats to our economic stability and vitality,” DFI Director Charlie Clark notes in the alert. “The purpose of this alert is to … emphasize and affirm the importance of responding to climate change as a systemic risk, and to begin discussions with stakeholders on how DFI can support its regulated entities in efforts to better understand and address climate change.
“While DFI is not today announcing new rules or guidance,” Clark continued, “we ask that Washington State financial institutions, and state chartered depositary institutions in particular, begin discussions about how to integrate climate change risks into their governance, risk management, and strategic plans.”
The DFI is working with Ceres, a sustainability focused nonprofit organization, to provide the most up-to-date climate change data and information to licensees and stakeholders in future dialogues on best practices to address the impact of climate change moving forward.