The Financial Post reports in its Wednesday edition that the U.S. securities regulator is poised to crack down on exaggerated environmental, social and governance credentials in investment products, preparing standards for a sustainable funds industry that has boomed to almost $3-trillion (all figures U.S.). A Financial Times of London report inside the Post says that rules being prepared by the Securities and Exchange Commission would specify disclosures to be made by investment funds that have terms such as "ESG," "sustainable" or "low-carbon" in their names. The rules are expected to require information about how ESG funds are marketed, how ESG is incorporated into investing and how these funds vote at companies' annual meetings. Global sustainable fund assets totalled $2.77-trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2022, up from $1-trillion in 2019. The broader ESG investing category covers environmental and climate considerations, "impact" investing for the social good, as well as funds that screen out industries such as tobacco or firearms. The four-member SEC is scheduled to vote today to release the draft rules for public comment. The agency has previously signalled a tougher stance on the issue.
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