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Globe says SEC gets tough on misleading ESG claims

2022-05-26 08:02 ET - In the News

The Globe and Mail reports in its Thursday edition that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has drafted tougher rules for mutual funds and advisers aimed at preventing them from making misleading environmental, social and governance claims. The Globe's Jeffrey Jones writes that commissioners voted 3-1 on Wednesday to send the proposed rules to improve transparency out for public comment. The rules would demand stricter reporting of criteria for the investment strategies being employed by fund managers to stop the practice of greenwashing: making false or exaggerated environmental declarations. This week, the SEC fined BNY Mellon $1.5-million (U.S.) for misstatements and omissions about ESG factors used in making investment decisions for its mutual funds. The regulator said that from 2018 to 2021, BNY Mellon implied the funds had been subjected to an ESG quality review when that was not always the case. The SEC is influential in securities industry enforcement, and its regulations are expected to influence other jurisdictions. The Canadian Securities Administrators, the umbrella group for provincial securities commissions, recently published its own guidance aimed at improving disclosure of ESG-themed funds.

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