FCA to test ESG claims at asset managers

UK regulator will start with governance at 'firms already under surveillance'

UK regulator The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be testing asset management firms on whether they deliver on their ESG claims.

In a letter to CEOs last week, the regulator outlined five supervisory priorities in light of what it described as “ineffective governance”.

One of these priorities is ESG, which the FCA said has grown in prominence at asset management firms, creating risks that some claims are misleading or inaccurate.

The FCA said it “will focus on the governance structures that oversee ESG and stewardship considerations, and we will test whether firms deliver on the claims made in their communications with investors.

“We will particularly focus our supervisory activities on outlier firms that have been identified in previous supervisory activities or other ongoing surveillance.”

In order to do this, the FCA said it will use Taskforce for Climate-related Disclosures that many asset managers are due to publish in the first half of this year, as well as the regulator’s own upcoming Sustainability Disclosure Requirements.

“We will seek to ensure that governance bodies are appropriately structured to oversee and review management information about product development, ESG and sustainability integration in investment processes, third-party and proprietary ESG information providers, and other ESG and sustainability claims made by the firm,” the letter said.


Natasha Turner

Natasha is global editor at ESG Clarity, part of Mark Allen Financial, and has been a financial journalist for seven years. She has been shortlisted for Story of the Year and Investment Journalist of the...