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.
In yet another step forward on the SEC’s path toward a comprehensive ESG disclosure framework, on September 22, 2021, the Staff of the Division of Corporation Finance issued a Sample Letter to Companies on Climate Change Disclosure, relying on the Commission’s 2010 Climate Change Guidance.
In this special edition, Eva-Maria Segur Cabanac, a partner in our Vienna office and global sustainability lead for financial institutions, and Jennifer Klass, a partner in our New York office and co-chair of the financial regulation and enforcement practice in North America, talk with Ying Yi Liew on how the COVID-19 pandemic led to the prioritization of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations among FIs.