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    FINMA Consults on Climate Risk Disclosures for Banks and Insurers

    November 10, 2020

    FINMA is consulting to amend the circulars on disclosure requirements for banks and insurers, to increase transparency with respect to the climate change risks. The consultation ends on January 19, 2021. To enhance transparency, FINMA is specifying the disclosure requirements for climate change risks for large financial market players. The more comprehensive and consistent disclosure of climate-related financial risks is intended to support an adequate analysis of these risks and to promote comparability and market discipline.

    FINMA aims to achieve a proportionate and principle-based structuring of the climate risk disclosures. Institutions in categories 1 and 2—that is, systemically important banks and large insurance companies—are required to make their climate-related financial risks transparent. The regulatory approach of FINMA is based on the internationally recognized recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). As per the circular, the following principle-based elements should be covered and disclosed:

    • Governance. Describe how the Board of Directors fulfils its oversight responsibilities in respect of the climate-related financial risks
    • Strategy. Describe and identify the key climate-related financial risks (short-term, medium-term, and long-term risks) as well as their impact on business strategy, business model, and financial planning
    • Risk management. Describe the risk management process for the identification, evaluation, and addressing of climate-related financial risks
    • Quantitative information. Provide information on climate-related financial risks and the methodologies underpinning such information

    For financial institutions, the repercussions of climate change can entail significant longer-term financial risks. In principle, financial institutions can build on their existing risk management systems. However, new developments in this sphere and new risk drivers in risk management must also be effectively identified and appropriately managed. In the area of disclosure of climate-related financial risks, FINMA has identified a targeted need for regulatory action in the balance sheets of its supervised entities and is setting out the corresponding regulatory details accordingly. 


    Related Links (in English and German)

    Comment Due Date: January 19, 2021

    Keywords: Europe, Switzerland, Banking, Insurance, Proportionality, Climate Change Risk, ESG, Governance, TCFD, Disclosures, FINMA

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