EU financial associations push for centralised ESG data register

On the 06/10/20 at 10:12AM


Adrien Paredes-Vanheule

Six European financial associations argued in a letter to the European Commission that harmonised ESG data would enable better comparability for investors, increase transparency, lower barriers and costs and reduce complexity.

Six European financial associations have endorsed the establishement of a centralised electronic open source EU environmental, social and governance data register in a joint letter sent on Tuesday to John Berrigan, director general of the European Commission's directorate-general for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union (DG Fisma). The entities having co-signed the letter include EACB (cooperative banks), EBF (banks), Efama (fund and asset management), ESBG (savings banks) Insurance Europe (insurance) Pensions Europe (pensions).

The six associations argued that the latest regulatory developments in the context of the EU Sustainable Finance agenda "create an urgent need for publicly available ESG data as well as how to enhance their sourcing."  They pinpointed the current "rather limited and insufficient" the availability of quality, comparable, reliable and public ESG data that is required to comply with the recent sustainable finance regulatory changes. 

The group insisted on the necessary focus of the data register on ESG disclosure that shall be aligned with the new financial reporting directive and EU taxonomy based information - climate change adaptation and mitigation objectives for instance. That ESG data will also be necessary to financial market participants to comply with the sustainable finance disclosure regulation.

The associations advised that the data collected should be provided "ideally free of charge" and that standardisation would be needed to ease ESG information collection. In their opinion, the register should also include relevant ESG information already collected by European and national institutions such as governments, central banks or statistical bodies. They also made the case for this data to be made available digitally to a number of users of non-financial information including investors, lenders, academia, researchers, authorities and others. 

The three European supervisory authorities (EBA, EIOPA and ESMA - ESAs) have scheduled a public hearing on 2 July on proposed environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure standards for financial market participants, advisers and products. They will explain and discuss the content of the consultation paper published on 23 April, on the draft RTS under the regulation on sustainability‐related disclosures in the financial services sector.