The Globe and Mail reports in its Monday edition that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Goldman Sachs over its ESG investment funds -- funds that invest in companies that say they are committed to environmental, social and governance principles. A New York Times item inside The Globe says that the agency is examining ESG mutual funds overseen by the bank's asset management unit. Regulators are scrutinizing sustainable investment vehicles, which have become increasingly popular, but have also been criticized for their lack of accountability, with lawmakers and investors calling for them to be reined in. ESG reporting has emerged as a top priority for the SEC under chairman Gary Gensler. Earlier this year, the commission proposed changes that would require more disclosure from companies to investors about the risk that climate change and new government policies on it might pose to their operations. The investigation into Goldman's mutual funds appears to be related to the new enforcement initiative. Last month, Bank of New York Mellon paid $1-million (U.S.) to settle an investigation by the SEC into allegations it had omitted or misled investors about its ESG criteria for assessing investments.
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