Global Financial Regulatory Blog

Category Archives: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

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ESMA Issues Consultation Paper on Fund Names to Tackle Greenwashing

The European Securities and Markets Authority proposes to restrict ESG- and sustainability-related terms in the naming of funds, with an eye on the US and UK fund naming regimes. By Paul Davies, Nicola Higgs, Anne Mainwaring, and Dianne Bell On 18 November 2022, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its consultation paper on … Continue Reading

FCA Proposes New Labelling and Disclosure Rules to Combat Greenwashing in the UK

The FCA hopes the proposals will protect consumer trust in ESG-related financial products and help consumers navigate the increasingly complex ESG-related financial market. By Paul A. Davies, Nicola Higgs, Michael D. Green, James Bee, and Anne Mainwaring On 25 October 2022, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a consultation paper (the Consultation Paper) on Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR) … Continue Reading

Reducing Socioeconomic Bias in the UK Financial Services Sector: Emerging Best Practice

The Financial Services Skills Commission has issued an insight paper outlining how companies can collect and evaluate data on employees’ socioeconomic backgrounds. By David Berman, Nicola Higgs, Rob Moulton, and Dianne Bell Socioeconomic backgrounds of employees and socioeconomic diversity at senior levels across the UK financial services industry is beginning to feature more prominently in … Continue Reading

European Central Bank Announces Plans to “Green” the Debt Capital Markets

The policy change integrates climate change considerations for the first time into the ECB’s quantitative easing and repo facilities. By Roberto Reyes Gaskin, Edward Kempson, and Peter Neuböck On July 4, 2022, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it would integrate climate change considerations into Eurosystem monetary policy through changes to its corporate bond … Continue Reading

CFTC Issues Request for Information on Climate-Related Financial Risk

The agency will use the information to take further steps to address climate risks in the commodity derivatives markets. By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Yvette Valdez, Douglas Yatter, Joshua Bledsoe, Michael Dreibelbis, Qingyi Pan, and Deric Behar On June 2, 2022, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a Request for Information (RFI) to inform its understanding … Continue Reading

FCA Finalises Rules to Improve Transparency Around Diversity of Boards and Executive Management

The new rules provide issuers with flexibility to report on representation of women by reference to either gender identity or sex. By Chris Horton, James Inness, Anna Ngo, Nicola Higgs, David Berman, Rob Moulton, and Johannes Poon On 20 April 2022, the FCA published its final policy decision on the proposals set out in CP … Continue Reading

UK Launches Taskforce to Take the Lead in Climate Transition Plans

HM Treasury’s Transition Plan Taskforce aims to influence international standard setting and make the UK the world’s first net zero-aligned financial centre. By Paul A. Davies, Michael D. Green, Nicola Higgs, Anne Mainwaring, James Bee, and Dianne Bell On 25 April 2022, HM Treasury (HMT) announced the launch of the UK Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) … Continue Reading

FCA’s 2022/23 Business Plan: Key Highlights

As the FCA’s remit continues to grow, the regulator pledges flexibility in the face of global financial and geopolitical headwinds. By Rob Moulton, Anne Mainwaring, Jaime O’Connell, and Dianne Bell On 7 April 2022, the FCA released its new Business Plan as part of a package including  a three-year strategy document setting out the outcomes … Continue Reading

ESMA Consults on ESG-Related Amendments to Its Suitability Guidelines

Proposed changes seek to reflect the integration of sustainability considerations into MiFID II. By Nicola Higgs, Anne Mainwaring, Dianne Bell, and Charlotte Collins ESMA is consulting on updates to its Guidelines on the MiFID II suitability requirements, in light of upcoming changes that will embed sustainability considerations into the MiFID II framework. These changes will … Continue Reading

10 Key Focus Areas for UK-Regulated Financial Services Firms in 2022

This annual publication outlines some of the primary focus areas in 2022 for UK-regulated financial services firms. There has been a marked shift away from dealing with immediate post-Brexit priorities to more fundamental consideration of the direction of travel of UK financial services regulation, and this is borne out across many of the topics covered … Continue Reading

FCA Launches Discussion on Sustainability Disclosure Requirements and Product Labels

The regulator is inviting views on potential criteria for classifying and labelling investment products, and on further entity- and product-level sustainability-related disclosures. By David Berman, Paul A. Davies, Nicola Higgs, Anne Mainwaring, and Charlotte Collins On 3 November 2021, the FCA published a Discussion Paper (DP21/4) on UK Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR) and product labels. … Continue Reading

FSOC Issues Recommendations on Climate-Related Financial Risk

A wide-ranging report encourages regulators to take a concerted approach to combat climate-related risks to the US financial system. By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Paul A. Davies, Nicola Higgs, Malorie R. Medellin, and Deric Behar On October 21, 2021, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) published a lengthy report on Climate-Related Financial Risk (the Report), marking the … Continue Reading

UK Government Releases Roadmap to Sustainable Investing

The roadmap introduces sustainability disclosure requirements for UK companies and reveals further developments in relation to a UK Green Taxonomy. By David Berman, Paul A. Davies, Nicola Higgs, Michael D. Green, Anne Mainwaring, and James Bee On 18 October 2021, the UK government released a report titled “Greening Finance: Roadmap to Sustainable Investing” (the Roadmap), which is intended to encourage UK businesses and … Continue Reading

President Biden Presents a Roadmap for Mitigating the Climate Crisis

A new national strategy report aims to combat climate-related risks to the US financial system. By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Paul A. Davies, Nicola Higgs, Malorie R. Medellin, and Deric Behar On October 14, 2021, the Biden Administration issued “A Roadmap to Build a Climate-Resilient Economy” (the Roadmap), a national strategy report with tangible initiatives that build … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Puts ESG Investing Back on the Menu

A new proposal would amend changes made to ERISA less than a year ago that have proved to be detrimental to ESG investing. By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Paul A. Davies, Nicola Higgs, Malorie R. Medellin, and Deric Behar In a sweeping reversal of Trump-era policies, the US Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a proposed rule, … Continue Reading

ESG in Asset Management: A Global Perspective

A snapshot of the global regulatory landscape in the context of ESG-related disclosures. By Nick Benson, David Berman, Paul A. Davies, Laura N. Ferrell, Simon Hawkins, Nicola Higgs, Farhana Sharmeen, Anne Mainwaring, Dominik Schoeneberger, Shirley Wong, and Charlotte Collins The global asset management community has long been among the leaders in recognising the investment and … Continue Reading

Private Bank Briefing – September 2021

By Rob Moulton, Nicola Higgs, Anne Mainwaring, and Charlotte Collins The latest edition of our Private Bank Briefing provides a roundup of legal and compliance issues impacting private banks and their clients from Q3 2021. In this edition, we include a summary of the latest sustainable finance developments, and pinpoint areas of post-Brexit regulatory divergence in relation … Continue Reading

FCA Proposes Enhanced Disclosures on Diversity and Inclusion for Listed Companies

Proposals reflect growing investor focus on the ESG performance of listed companies. By Chris Horton, James Inness, Rob Moulton, Anna Ngo, and Johannes Poon The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a consultation setting out proposed changes to its Listing Rules (LRs) and Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules (DTRs). The proposals seek to: (i) … Continue Reading

IOSCO Consults on Regulation of ESG Data and Ratings Providers

By Paul A. Davies, Nicola Higgs, and Anne Mainwaring On 26 July 2021, the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a consultation report (the Report) that proposes a set of recommendations to mitigate risks flowing from activities of ESG ratings and data products providers and to address some of the challenges … Continue Reading

FCA Seeks to Improve Quality of ESG Fund Disclosures

FCA has published guiding principles on the design, delivery, and disclosure of ESG and sustainable investment funds. By Nicola Higgs, David Berman, Paul Davies, Anne Mainwaring, and Charlotte Collins On 19 July 2021, the FCA published a letter sent to chairs of authorised fund managers, which sets out the regulator’s expectations regarding disclosures by funds … Continue Reading

UK Regulators Launch Discussion on Diversity and Inclusion

Discussion Paper opens debate on potential new rules to improve diversity in financial services. By Rob Moulton, David Berman, Paul Davies, and Charlotte Collins On 7 July 2021, the FCA, the PRA, and the Bank of England published a joint Discussion Paper on diversity and inclusion in the financial sector. The regulators, in particular the … Continue Reading

Private Bank Briefing – June 2021

By Rob Moulton, Nicola Higgs, Anne Mainwaring, and Charlotte Collins The latest edition of our Private Bank Briefing provides a roundup of legal and compliance issues impacting private banks and their clients from Q2 2021. In this edition, we cover sustainable finance developments, the regulators’ expectations regarding operational resilience and outsourcing, and the PRA’s plans … Continue Reading

FCA Seeks to Extend Climate-Related Disclosures for Listed Companies

The FCA is consulting on extending its rules to standard listed issuers. By Paul A. Davies, Chris Horton, James Inness, Anna Ngo, and Charlotte Collins On 22 June 2021, the FCA published a Consultation Paper (CP21/18) on extending the application of the existing climate-related disclosure requirements for commercial companies with a UK premium listing to a wider scope of listed … Continue Reading
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