ESAs published their individual responses, along with a joint letter, to the EC consultation on the review of Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The EC consultation aimed to collect the stakeholder views on possible revisions to the provisions of the NFRD. The principal focus of this consultation, the comment period for which ended on June 11, 2020, was on the possible options for such revisions. EBA welcomes this consultation and agrees with the need to revise the NFRD in an effort to meet the demand for relevant, reliable and, comparable company disclosures on non-financial matters. In addition, ESAs highlight the need to increase standardization by setting out mandatory requirements and to expand the scope of companies covered by the NFRD, in a proportionate way.
The three ESAs (EBA, EIOPA, and ESMA) have submitted a joint letter from their Chairs, highlighting certain key messages, which are of particular importance for the future of the non-financial reporting regime in Europe. ESAs agree that there is a need to revise the NFRD, as the demand for relevant, reliable, and comparable company disclosure on non-financial matters goes well beyond the current legislative requirements. A central element of such a revision would be to introduce a higher level of standardization of the disclosure requirements, which companies must apply when preparing their non-financial information. In the short term, it is necessary to pursue a European standardization, which should, however, be compatible with the aim of achieving international standardization in the medium term. ESAs consider it would be important to include the detailed disclosure standards in regulatory or implementing technical standards, setting out mandatory, rather than voluntary, requirements. The absence of mandatory reporting requirements, and the resulting application of a variety of national, regional, and global disclosure frameworks, lowers the comparability between companies’ disclosures and impedes assurance regarding those disclosures. Introducing mandatory disclosure standards would be the best way to promote a change toward more relevant, reliable, and comparable disclosures.
ESAs suggest that the development of regulatory or implementing technical standards should be placed with a public body. In that context, ESAs could play a leading role in the necessary standard-setting work, having each received strengthened legislative mandates on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters in the recent ESA review. The ESAs are already tasked with developing regulatory and implementing technical standards on disclosure of sustainability‐related topics under their remits and would as such ensure the necessary consistency across the different disclosure standards in the sustainable finance area. In addition, ESAs would contribute to a consistent application of the disclosure standards thanks to the ability to issue guidelines, opinions, and Q&As. Furthermore, the ESAs would leverage on a sound due process based on extensive stakeholder engagement via public consultations, regular interactions with the statutory stakeholder groups and ad-hoc outreach activities as well as cooperation with the International Platform for Sustainable Finance and with other public authorities such as the European Environmental Agency and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.
Further to standardization, the scope of companies to be covered is another central aspect of the NFRD revision. ESAs suggest that now would be a suitable time to expand the scope to create transparency on non-financial matters to a larger group of companies, thus also providing information on a wider scale to facilitate financial market participants in discharging their disclosure obligations under the Disclosure Regulation. The expansion should, however, be done in a proportionate way to avoid undue administrative burden on smaller companies and reflect the need to consider a simplified disclosure standard for SMEs. Finally, ESAs highlight the importance of ensuring consistency of the NFRD with other pieces of legislation in the sustainable finance area, notably the Disclosure Regulation, the Taxonomy Regulation, and the prudential disclosure requirements foreseen, for example, in the CRR for credit institutions. This is relevant both when revising the NFRD and when developing the related Level 2 disclosure standards.
- EBA Press Release and Response
- EIOPA Press Release and Response
- ESMA Press Release and Response
- Joint Letter to EC (PDF)
- EC Consultation (PDF)
Keywords: Europe, EU, Banking, Insurance, Securities, Non-Financial Reporting, Reporting, Reporting, Disclosures, CRR, Climate Change Risk, ESG, Sustainable Finance, Proportionality, NFRD, ESAs, EBA, ESMA, EIOPA
Previous ArticleEC Announces Additions to Membership of Sustainable Finance Platform
The European Banking Authority (EBA) published the final guidelines on the monitoring of the threshold and other procedural aspects on the establishment of intermediate parent undertakings in European Union (EU), as laid down in the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD).
In a recent Market Notice, the Bank of England (BoE) confirmed that green gilts will have equivalent eligibility to existing gilts in its market operations.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published the policy statement PS21/9 on implementation of the Investment Firms Prudential Regime.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) proposed regulatory technical standards that set out criteria for identifying shadow banking entities for the purpose of reporting large exposures.
The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) proposed a set of recommendations on the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings and data providers.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published recommendations from the Working Group on Euro Risk-Free Rates (RFR) on the switch to risk-free rates in the interdealer market.
The European Commission (EC) announced plans to defer the application of 13 regulatory technical standards under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (2019/2088) by six months, from January 01, 2022 to July 01, 2022.
The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) proposed to amend the supervisory statement on supervision of run-off undertakings that are subject to Solvency II regulation.
The Bank of England (BoE) published a consultation paper on approach to setting minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL), an operational guide on executing bail-in, and a statement from the Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) is seeking preliminary input on standardization of the proportionality assessment methodology for credit institutions and investment firms.