UKSIF piles pressure on UK gov't for EU-style sustainable finance rules
British financial services fear that sustainable finance may be forgotten or at least left aside once the Brexit transition period will be over on 31 December 2020. One major concern for them is to possibly having to comply with two different regulations on sustainable finance - with different standards - as from 2021, one for their UK-based clients and another for their European clients. In order to address the matter, Simon Howard, CEO of UKSIF, the representative body for sustainable investment and finance in the United Kingdom, on Sunday urged the British government to "match the ambition of the EU's sustainable finance reforms regardeless of the outcome of the EU exit." There Howard referred to the EU's July 2019 green finance strategy.
In a letter to the Economic Secretary to the British Treasury John Glen, UKSIF's CEO recalls that the EU recently passed two important regulations, the former on sustainability-related disclosures in financial services and the latter on a common green taxonomy, which will both apply from 10 March 2021. "These measures are vital not just to achieving the EU and the UK's shared goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions, but also to give people greater say over how their pension savings impact the world around them," penned Howard, who asked for the EU's sustainable finance reforms to be 'onshored' in Britain as soon as possible. UKSIF's CEO underlined that the UK does not have yet an equivalent to the reforms passed by the EU.
He said that drafting a law that would set same standards as the EU's on sustainable finance would provide certainty to UK financial services and enable that the UK's regulatory framework would be "at least as ambitious" and "not diverge radically" from the European one. Also it would "correct any deficiencies or shortcomings in EU reforms, learning from mistakes and building on successes."