Cathay Financial Holdings will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2022, which is a significant milestone. Over the past sixty years, we have realized that a company has to take care of its customers, employees, and shareholders in order to sustain its operation and development, and we have to value society and the environment in order to become a company with both “sustainable performance” and “corporate profitability” and demonstrate our long-term competitiveness. The business environment has changed rapidly compared to the previous decade. To tackle the associated challenges, Cathay upholds the spirit of “What if We Could” and believes that “You are braver than you think.” Cathay is creating a forward-looking business vision and moving forward steadily with two major aspects as part of our DNA: technological innovation and ESG corporate sustainability.
In 2021, despite the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cathay FHC demonstrated its strong operational resilience and achieved a record high performance with total assets exceeding NT$11 trillion and after-tax profits of NT$140.89 billion for the year, doubled from the previous year. Cathay has been selected for inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for four consecutive years and as a constituent stock of its Emerging Markets Index for seven consecutive years, and was ranked first in its industry worldwide in sustainable finance and financial inclusion. Cathay regards corporate sustainability and ESG as crucial missions, and promotes the concepts of “No ESG, No Business” in the global supply chain as well as “No ESG, No Money” in financial institutions. Not only is Cathay FHC trying to be the best, the company also hopes to use the influence of the group as a driving force to attract more enterprises to the cause, so that all industries in Taiwan can prosper, attain sustainability, and reduce carbon emissions together. In particular, earthquakes and typhoons are very common in Taiwan, and Taiwan is especially venerable to the impact of climate change. Therefore, the concept of “No ESG, No Taiwan” is even more important here. As the largest institutional investor in Taiwan, Cathay aims to fulfill the spirit of “performing well and then performing even better.” It will continue to shoulder its responsibility as a pioneer in sustainable development and focus on the three main themes of ESG—climate, health and empowerment—to exert its influence on the financial industry.
In the face of the worsening extreme weather threat caused by global warming, reducing carbon emissions is the most important way to mitigate the threat of global warming. In terms of climate initiatives, Cathay FHC announced in June 2021 that it will follow the guidelines of the RE100 global renewable energy initiative and became the first RE100 member in Taiwan’s financial industry in April 2022. By implementing renewable energy plans, zero-coal plans, and fossil fuel investment, Cathay has pledged that all locations of the group in Taiwan will use only renewable energy by 2030 and all global locations of the group will use only renewable energy by 2050, so as to realize the goal of net-zero carbon emissions. Cathay is the only financial institution in Taiwan that participates in a number of international initiatives including Climate Action 100+ and CDP NDC, and was selected as one of the top 10 best practice examples and honored as the leader of Asia investment organizations by the Investor Agenda in 2022. Cathay hopes, on the road to net-zero carbon emissions, to develop innovative solutions, transform business models, and find new development opportunities through cross-disciplinary cooperation.
Taiwan is expected to enter a super-aged society in 2025 and has the fastest aging rate in the world. We care about the physical and mental health of the general public, and accordingly we are focusing on the future aging issue as well as any shortcomings in the protections offered to our customers. We are strengthening the financial security of people through our core competencies. Cathay Life launched the upgraded version of "Cathay Walker Plus (CWP) Health Plan" and combined the system with usage-based insurance to provide greater coverage or premium discounts, thus encouraging policy holders to develop healthy habits. Meanwhile, we actively promote the concept of protecting assets with a trust to improve the financial autonomy of the elderly and ensure the security of their property. Cathay also provides affordable financial products and services to small and medium-sized enterprises, young people, and female customers through digitalization to achieve financial inclusion.
“People” have always been the most important key to the success of a business. This includes aspects such as how personnel perform their work, how they think about problems and find solutions, and how they can maintain their enthusiasm and ambition. In the process of digital transformation, Cathay values employees' skill development and workplace experiences, creates a flexible mobile office with digital technology to shape a culture of independent learning and strengthen employees’ professional skills, and also combines the three powers of transformation to optimize employees’ soft power and enhance their competitiveness. Cathay's vision is to foster a generation that will bring positive changes to society, and uses diverse channels to build a learning and participation platform for children and young people. In 2021, Cathay collaborated with the International Climate Development Institute (ICDI) and jointly held youth forums and promoted industry-academic cooperation so as to build a climate talent pool in Taiwan and empower young people to tackle the challenges associated with environmental and social sustainability.
Cathay Financial Holdings will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2022. In the next decade, Cathay will continue to uphold its determination and convictions towards sustainable operations, embrace opportunities, take responsibilities, and provide better financial services. For Cathay, serious challenges also represent infinite opportunities.