Combating global greenhouse emissions and implementing the transition to net-zero requires unprecedented financial investment. Financial institutions are critical players because of their role in allocating capital and ability to act as a catalyst to achieve better ESG outcomes in society generally.
A number of factors are driving up the incidence of climate related litigation and enforcement which has been most marked in North America but other regions are now catching up. Financial institutions given their critical place in financing economic activity are increasingly the focus of action. Financial institutions are well advised to prepare for and mitigate the risk, for example, from reviewing their corporate strategies around climate change and carbon reduction to taking note of regulators’ expectations.
Our series, Finding Balance, maps the environment financial institutions must navigate to thrive in the post-pandemic global market. Starting in 2020 and finishing this year, we looked across our subsectors — at banking and insurance, financial sponsors, as well as financial infrastructure and payment providers — and re-evaluated the potential impact of the major global drivers of change in financial services such as ESG and digital transformation. The series also considers the risks to and pressures on financial institutions presented by increasing corporate indebtedness, the rise of alternative finance, and increasing regulatory scrutiny originating from the 2008 financial crisis.
With financial services regulation developing at pace in areas such as ESG, Fintech and new technologies, our newly launched horizon scanning tool, the Global Financial Services Regulatory (FSR) Momentum Monitor enables financial service providers to plan and prepare for coming regulatory developments across the jurisdictions in which they operate.
On March 21, 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issued its long-awaited proposed ruleset (Rule Proposal) that, if adopted as currently drafted, would mandate both domestic and foreign registrants to make a variety of climate-related impact and risk disclosures in registration statements and in annual filings under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act).
On 25 November 2021, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) unveiled the Sustainable Finance Development Policy 2025 (“Policy”), developed in cooperation with the International Finance Corporation. The Policy, among other things, lists the tasks to be implemented in the Ukrainian financial services market in line with the best international practices and standards of environmental, social and governance (ESG) regulatory frameworks.