ECB launched consultation on a guide specifying how the Banking Supervision expects banks to consider climate-related and environmental risks in their governance and risk management frameworks and when formulating and implementing their business strategy. The guide also outlines how ECB expects banks to become more transparent by enhancing their climate-related and environmental disclosures. The consultation on this guide ends on September 25, 2020. ECB expects that comments on this consultation document will provide valuable input for the finalization of the guide, which it then intends to also use in the supervisory dialog.
The guide aims to raise industry awareness of climate-related and environmental risks and to improve the management of such risks. The guide explains that ECB expects significant banks to use (stress) scenarios to assess if climate-related and environmental risks are material with regard to their business strategy and to inform their decisions. Furthermore, ECB expects institutions with material climate-related and environmental risks to evaluate whether their bank-internal stress testing is appropriate, with a view to incorporating those risks in their baseline and adverse scenarios. ECB wants banks to account for these risks, given that they drive existing prudential risk categories and can substantially impact the real economy and banks. Banks are expected to assess whether their current practices are safe and prudent in the light of the expectations and, if necessary, to start adapting them.
The guide was drafted in close cooperation with the national competent authorities to ensure that high supervisory standards are applied consistently across the euro area. It also draws on the experience gained from assessing banks’ current practices and their approaches to climate-related and environmental risks. The guide is designed to fit within the boundaries of applicable EU and national law. It aims to foster banks’ preparedness for managing climate-related and environmental risks under current prudential rules, in accordance with the EC Action plan on financing sustainable growth and the EBA Action plan on sustainable finance. ECB acknowledged that banks face significant challenges as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the immediate attention of ECB is on the pandemic, it remains committed to further advancing the management and disclosure of climate-related and environmental risks in the banking sector.
Keywords: Europe, EU, Banking, ESG, Sustainable Finance, Climate Change Risk, Disclosures, Stress Testing, CRD, Basel, ECB
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