HSBC shareholders urge bank to cut exposure to fossil fuels

Investors file resolution calling on bank to publish strategy and targets Some of Europe’s biggest pension funds and asset managers have filed a shareholder vote urging HSBC to cut its lending linked to fossil fuels. Fifteen institutional investors with a combined $2.4trn in assets under management, along with 117 individual shareholders, have filed a climate […]

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FRC criticises inconsistent corporate governance reporting

Watchdog highlights widespread box-ticking by UK plc FTSE-listed companies are treating corporate governance as a box-ticking exercise and failing to meet stakeholder expectations in their reporting, according to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). The FRC’s Review of Corporate Governance Reporting 2020 revealed a general inconsistency and that companies were not provided high quality and transparent […]

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Edelman: ESG key to rebuilding investor trust post Covid-19

Edelman: ESG key to rebuilding investor trust post Covid-19 ESG criteria still championed by investors despite retrogressive attitude from policymakers Environmental, social and governance (ESG) will play a crucial role in rebuilding trust between companies and the investment community, the latest Edelman Trust Barometer has found. This comes after suggestions ESG was temporarily deprioritised by […]

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EC corporate governance report draws criticism

EC corporate governance report draws criticism The European Commission report on directors’ duties and sustainable corporate governance, published earlier this year, is drawing heavy criticism from law experts. Writing on the Oxford Business Law blog, the European Company Law Experts Group said the study is “not a document on which to base sustainable proposals for […]

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UK govt extends AGM leeway to end of 2020

UK govt extends AGM leeway to end of 2020 The UK government has extended flexibility over AGM rules, meaning companies will be able to hold such meetings in Covid-safe fashion until the end of the year. This temporary adjustment to the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 was initially introduced to allow greater flexibility for […]

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Spanish “loyalty shares” draw central bank criticism

Spanish “loyalty shares” draw central bank criticism The Bank of Spain has emerged as part of almost unanimous opposition to its government’s proposed introduction of so-called loyalty shares for listed companies.   According to El Pais, in its response to a consultation on a new securities and finance bill, the central bank said it could see the potential drawbacks of the proposal much more clearly […]

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EU-wide task force appointed as NFRD reform gathers pace

European Commission pushes ahead with SRD II The European Commission will proceed with the implementation of the second Shareholder Rights Directive (SRD II), defying protests from some post-trade groups. As a result, the second phase of SRD II will come into force on 3 September 2020, as originally scheduled. The first phase of implementation saw […]

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Sec lending management key to better ESG

Sec lending management key to better ESG Managing securities lending policies in line with ESG goals, rather than halting them completely, should result in better outcomes for shareholders, research suggests. In recent months, asset owners had been quizzing fund firms over whether the practice of securities lending erodes long-term sustainability efforts. This followed a decision […]

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Pile of astroturf

SEC falls foul of proxy astroturf Did the SEC cite fake letters to support its proxy clampdown? The SEC’s attempts to impose tough new regulations on proxy advisers have taken a sinister turn following revelations its chairman has been citing fake investor letters in ‘support’ of its proposed changes. The Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) […]

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CEOs backing new governance statement cause a stir

CEOs backing new governance statement cause a stir When over 180 of America’s top CEOs signed a new corporate governance agreement that effectively eliminates shareholder primacy and commits to representing the interests of ‘all Americans’, the move was going to attract attention. The Business Roundtable, an association of chief executives of America’s leading companies, updated […]

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