United Kingdom

Topic: ESG

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A conversation on the Green Finance Strategy

On July 2, 2019, the Government published its policy paper on the Green Finance Strategy – a strategy that “recognises the role of the financial sector in delivering global and domestic climate and environmental objectives.” Imogen Garner, partner in the Financial Services team, Glenn Hall, partner and head of the Government Relations and Public Policy … Continue Reading

NGFS technical supplement to report on climate change as a source of financial risk

On 23 July 2019, the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) published a technical supplement to its first comprehensive report on climate change as a source of financial risk which is aimed at central banks and financial supervisors. The paper provides an analysis of two types of risks that arise from climate change: physical … Continue Reading

FCA statement on the Joint Declaration on climate change

On 2 July 2019, the FCA published a Joint Declaration with the PRA, the Pensions Regulator and Financial Reporting Council, welcoming the publication of the Government’s Green Finance Strategy and setting out a shared understanding of the financial risks and opportunities of climate change. The FCA welcomes the Chancellor’s announcement that the FCA will have … Continue Reading

ESMA consults on short-termism in financial markets

On 24 June 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a questionnaire which aims to gather evidence on potential short-term pressures on corporations stemming from the financial sector. By December 2019, ESMA will deliver a report to the European Commission based on its findings, in line with the Commission’s request to each of … Continue Reading

Reports of European Commission technical expert group on sustainable finance

On 18 June 2019, the European Commission published new guidelines on corporate climate-related information reporting, as part of its Sustainable Finance Action Plan. The guidelines are intended to provide companies with practical recommendations on how to better report the impact that their activities are having on the climate as well as the impact of climate … Continue Reading

New note on IOSCO report on sustainable finance

We have published a new two-part briefing note summarizing the International Organization of Securities Commission’s (IOSCO) report of 5 June 2019 on sustainable finance in emerging markets and the role of securities regulators (our blog is here). The report takes a cross-border look at how emerging jurisdictions are implementing measures to promote the development of … Continue Reading

New ESG insight page

We have launched a new environmental, social and governance (ESG) page on our Asset Management Regulation knowledge hub. This page is called ‘ESG insight’. ESG insight contains resources and materials to guide asset managers through the evolving regulatory landscape on ESG, features include: videos from our financial services team discussing UK and EU regulatory developments … Continue Reading

IOSCO report on sustainable finance in emerging markets and role of securities regulators

On 5 June 2019, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a final report on sustainable finance in emerging markets and the role of securities regulators. IOSCO notes that during the past several years, market participants, regulators and policy makers have increasingly focused their attention on issues concerning sustainable finance in its many forms. … Continue Reading

Treasury Committee launches inquiry into decarbonisation of the UK economy

On 5 June 2019, the House of Commons’ Treasury Committee announced that it was launching an inquiry into the decarbonisation of the UK economy and green finance. The inquiry will scrutinise the role of HM Treasury, regulators and financial services firms in supporting the Government’s climate change commitments. It will also examine the economic potential … Continue Reading

ESMA establishes co-ordination network on sustainability

On 23 May 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a press release announcing it has established a Coordination Network on Sustainability (CNS). The CNS is intended to foster the coordination of Member State national competent authorities’ (NCAs) work on sustainability. It will be responsible for the development of policy in this area … Continue Reading

ESG and the Commission legislative proposals for disclosures

A new video is now available as part of our ESG video series. In this video, Simon Lovegrove and Beth Duff discuss the European Commission’s action plan on sustainable finance, and specifically the proposal for a Regulation for disclosures. In our next video, Imogen Garner will discuss the current UK developments surrounding ESG.… Continue Reading

ESMA keynote address at Swedish Fund Association’s Annual Conference

On 13 May 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published the keynote speech that Evert van Walsum (Head of Investors and Issuers Department, ESMA) gave at the Swedish Fund Association’s Annual Conference. In his speech Mr van Walsum covers sustainable finance, costs and fees borne by investors buying funds and investor protection more … Continue Reading

ESMA submits technical advice on sustainable finance to the Commission

On 3 May 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its technical advice to the European Commission (Commission) on sustainable finance initiatives to support the European Commission’s Sustainability Action Plan in the areas of investment services and investment funds. The final reports contain technical advice to the Commission on the integration of sustainability … Continue Reading

New financial services video: The evolving ESG regulatory landscape

We have launched a new video series in which members of our financial services team discuss key regulatory developments within the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) sector. In our first video of the series, Imogen Garner, Beth Duff and Simon Lovegrove discuss the evolving ESG regulatory landscape.… Continue Reading

FCA consults on extending the remit of Independent Governance Committees

On 15 April 2019, the FCA published Consultation Paper 19/15: Independent Governance Committees: extension of remit (CP19/15). Independent Governance Committees (IGCs) provide independent oversight of the value for money of workplace personal pensions provided by firms such as some self-invested personal pension operators. In CP19/15 the FCA is proposing a new IGC duty to oversee: … Continue Reading

Enhancing banks’ and insurers’ approaches to managing the financial risks from climate change

On 15 April 2019, the PRA published Policy Statement 11/19: Enhancing banks’ and insurers’ approaches to managing the financial risks from climate change (PS11/19). PS11/19 is relevant to all UK insurance and reinsurance firms and groups, banks, building societies, and PRA-designated investment firms (collectively referred to as firms). In PS11/19 the PRA provides feedback to … Continue Reading

BlackRock’s CEO emphasizes social impact for a second year in a row in his 2019 letter to investee companies

Earlier this year BlackRock’s Chairman and CEO Larry Fink published his annual letter to the asset management firm’s investee companies. For the second year in a row Fink has focused on social impact. At the beginning of the letter he addresses the importance of practices that “will drive sustainable, long-term growth and profitability”. Fink acknowledges … Continue Reading

IOSCO consults on sustainable finance recommendations

On 1 February 2019, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a consultation report on sustainable finance in emerging markets and the role of securities regulators (the Consultation). Based on analysis by IOSCO’s Growth and Emerging Markets Committee (GEMC),  the Consultation proposes a set of 11 recommendations that member jurisdictions should consider when issuing … Continue Reading

IOSCO statement on disclosure of ESG matters by issuers

On 18 January 2019, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a statement setting out the importance for issuers of considering the inclusion of environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters when disclosing information material to investors’ decisions. IOSCO emphasizes that ESG matters, though sometimes characterized as non-financial, may have a material short-term and long-term … Continue Reading

Draft Commission Delegated Regulations on sustainable finance

On 4 January 2019, the European Commission published the following draft Delegated Regulations on how investment firms and insurance distributors should take sustainability issues into account when advising clients: Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) …/… of XXX amending Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/565 as regards the integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations and preferences into … Continue Reading

ESMA consults on measures to promote sustainability in EU capital markets

On 19 December 2018, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued three consultation papers on sustainable finance initiatives to support the European Commission’s Sustainability Action Plan in the areas of securities trading, investment funds and credit rating agencies. The consultation paper on integrating sustainability risks and factors in MiFID II seeks stakeholder input on … Continue Reading

ECB speech on central banks and climate change

On 28 November 2018, the European Central Bank (ECB) published a speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, on climate change and central banking. Mr Mersch notes that climate change poses the risk of considerable social costs and economic disruption. The challenges of climate change are social issues. Mr Mersch … Continue Reading
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