Sustainability disclosure and labelling regime confirmed by the FCA

by | Nov 28, 2023

The FCA has confirmed a substantial package of measures to improve the trust and transparency of sustainable investment products and minimise greenwashing.

With an estimated $18.4 trillion of ESG-orientated assets now being managed globally, the FCA is putting in place new Sustainability Disclosure Requirements and an investment labels regime after detailed engagement with a range of stakeholders, including industry, other regulators and consumer groups.

This package of measures, including the consumer-focussed labelling regime, will support the UK’s position as a world-leading, competitive centre for asset management and sustainable investment.

It will also protect consumers by helping them to make more informed decisions when investing and enhance the credibility of the sustainable investment market.

Research has shown that investors weren’t confident that sustainability-related claims made about investments were genuine. This isn’t helped by a lack of consistency when firms use terms, such as ‘green’, ‘ESG’ or ‘sustainable’.

To tackle this issue, the FCA will introduce:

  • an anti-greenwashing rule for all authorised firms to make sure sustainability-related claims are fair, clear and not misleading
  • product labels to help investors understand what their money is being used for, based on clear sustainability goals and criteria
  • naming and marketing requirements so products cannot be described as having a positive impact on sustainability when they don’t

Sacha Sadan, Director of Environmental, Social and Governance, FCA, said: ‘We’re putting in place a simple, easy to understand regime so investors can judge whether funds meet their investment needs – this is a crucial step for consumer protection as sustainable investment grows in popularity.

‘By improving trust in the sustainable investment market, the UK will be able to maintain its position at the forefront of sustainable finance, and capture the benefits of being a leading international centre of investment.’

The package of measures has consumers at its heart and was tested with over 15,000 people. It also follows the FCA’s Financial Lives survey, which highlighted that a significant majority of adults in the UK would like to invest in a way that protects the environment and has a positive social impact.

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