01.04.2019

EU Issues Draft Rules On Sustainability In Client Advice

The Commission has today published draft rules on how investment firms and insurance distributors should take sustainability issues into account when providing advice to their clients.

Today’s announcement forms part of the Commission’s Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth first put forward in May 2018, and would amend delegated acts under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and the Insurance Distribution Directive.

The new draft rules will help integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations and preferences into investment advice and portfolio management, and into the distribution of insurance-based investment products. The Commission can only officially adopt these draft rules once new disclosure provisions for sustainable investments and sustainability risks, which put in place an EU-wide definition for ESG considerations, have been agreed at EU level.

At the same time, today’s publication should ensure that investment firms and insurance distributors can already prepare to take ESG considerations and preferences into account in the suitability assessments they undertake to see if proposed investments are appropriate for a client.

Once adopted by the Commission, the delegated acts will enter into force after their publication in the Official Journal, unless the European Parliament and the Council object to them within a period of three months (extendable to six months).

The Sustainable Finance Action Plan is part of the broader Capital Markets Union’s (CMU) efforts to connect finance with the specific needs of the European economy to the benefit of the planet and our society and is one of the key steps towards implementing the historic Paris Agreement and the EU’s agenda for sustainable development.

Source: European Commission

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