FCA sets out ESG agenda

The Financial Conduct Authority has today published a set of proposals that will form the basis of its work on improving regulated firms' climate change disclosures. These include issuers’ climate change disclosures, regulated firms’ integration of climate change risk and opportunities into their decision-making and consumers’ access to green financial products and services.

Chief executive of the FCA, Andrew Bailey said the watchdog had an important role to play in creating an environment "where firms can manage the risks from moving to a greener economy and capture the opportunities".

Among other actions, the FCA says it will now set about consulting on new rules to improve climate-related disclosures by certain firms and clarifying existing obligations.

It will also finalise rule changes requiring Independent Governance Committees to oversee and report on firms’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) and stewardship policies, as well as separate rule changes to facilitate investment in patient capital opportunities.

The watchdog will also be publishing a feedback statement in response to a joint Discussion paper with the Financial Reporting Council on Stewardship setting out actions to address the most significant barriers to effective stewardship.

"This Feedback Statement is the next step in our drive to provide clarity for firms and consumers about how our work will help support the response to the climate challenge and the development of the green finance market," Bailey added.

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