The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the conduct regulator for financial services firms and financial markets in the UK announced today that it would push back the introduction of its anticipated sustainability disclosure requirements for asset managers and ESG labelling rules for investment products.

According to the FCA, the delay will enable it to consider the significant response to its consultation on the new rules, which received around 240 written responses. The regulator had planned to release its Policy Statement on the new requirements in the first half of this year, and now plans to publish in Q3, adding that “the proposed effective dates will be adjusted accordingly.”

In its statement, the FCA said:

“There is broad support for the proposed regime and outcomes we are seeking to achieve, and we have received rich, constructive feedback on some of the detail.”

In addition to the updated timeline, the FCA said that following the feedback, it would consider its approach in the new policy, including refining some of the criteria for the labels, and clarify how products and strategies can qualify for a label, adding:

“We are carefully considering the feedback to ensure that first and foremost the regime protects consumers but also recognises and takes account of any practical challenges that firms may have.”

The FCA confirmed that its upcoming policy would “not require independent verification of product categorisation to qualify for a label.” Additionally, the regulator indicated that the rules would allow for measures to accommodate products “that may not qualify for a label, but nevertheless have some sustainability-related characteristics.”

The FCA added:

“A strengthened regulatory framework for these products will increase opportunities and competition in the market and help foster growth and the demand and supply of products that better suit consumers’ needs and preferences.”

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