ISDA Responds to HMT Consultation on ESG Ratings Providers

On June 30, ISDA and the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) submitted a joint response to His Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) consultation on the future regulatory regime for environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings providers. The associations support the introduction of regulation for ESG ratings providers – in particular, the need for greater transparency in methodologies, sufficient resources and expertise within providers, stronger governance and addressing conflicts of interest. The associations welcome the indication from the UK Financial Conduct Authority that its regulatory approach would take the main elements of the International Organization of Securities Commissions’ recommendations as a staring point for the rules.

The response also highlights areas of challenge, as well as overlaps that may arise in connection with the proposal to include ESG ratings providers within the regulated activities order. This includes potential overlaps with existing regulated activities, application of exclusions and exemptions, and transitional provisions. The associations make recommendations on the definition of ESG ratings, cross-border access and how the government should approach ESG data providers.

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