Eurosif: Accept SFDR Role as Fund Classification Scheme

Eurosif, a pan-European sustainable finance association, says regulators should accommodate existing use of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) by fund managers as a product classification system. Noting that fund managers are classifying their products as Article 8 or 9 SFDR compliant, Eurosif’s new report suggests regulators should adjust the framework to fulfil the needs of the sector, as current ambiguity may lead to firms facing allegations of mis-selling if clients or national supervisors do not share their interpretation of its provisions. This could cause significant reputational risk discrediting the sustainable investment community and potential market fragmentation in future, the association warned. By creating a clearer divide between product categories, regulators can ensure fund managers can appropriately categorise their products and that product’s characteristics can act as a minimum requirement for complying with Article 8 and 9 SFDR. The report also recommends introducing a new category of products focussing on sustainability opportunities and clarifying ‘promoting environmental and social characteristics’ to distinguish between products taking into account sustainability-related risks and opportunities, focussing on financial materiality, and financial products integrating sustainability. 

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