BVI, Germany’s fund industry body, has called on the country’s government to use the remaining months of its presidency of the EU Council to push the fixing of certain aspects of current EU sustainability-related financial regulation.
It also called for future corporate non-financial reporting obligations to be in accordance with a mandatory EU standard that should apply to all companies seeking funding on EU capital markets, including those based outside the bloc if their shares are listed on a regulated EU market.
Germany holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council until the end of the year and is also looking to boost Germany’s reputation as a location for sustainable finance.
According to BVI CEO Thomas Richter, ”the federal government knows that this will only work in accordance with EU regulation”.
The lobby group said it was calling on the German federal government “to take necessary, even if unpleasant, decisions needed to set a path to foster sustainability without losing sight of the end goal”.
“This means that the government must now do everything in its power in Brussels to promote holistic and practicable sustainability regulation,” the industry group added.
It said it was offering the German government “an institutionalised dialogue based on the intensive formal cooperation that has been developed over some time”.
Outcomes the BVI wants to see pursued during the remaining period of the German EU Council presidency are: uniform criteria for what counts as a sustainable product, postponement of the start of the sustainable finance disclosure regulation (SFDR) to 1 January 2022, and closure of ESG data gaps.
On the topic of uniform criteria, BVI said what was considered a sustainable product was currently regulated consistently across various regulations, giving the example of different requirements placed on sustainable products under amendments to MiFID II compared with those in the SFDR.
This is an issue that Efama, which BVI is a member of, is lobbying on. Efama is also calling for the postponement of the SFDR, with the likes of PensionsEurope also expressing concerns about the timeline.
In a position paper, BVI also called for the taxonomy to be made more practicable, for example saying criteria for environmentally sustainable activities should have the current market situation as their point of departure and be progressively tightened in order to foster the transformation of the entire economy.