Fortnightly News Blog – 7 February 2023

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Dear CEO….

A couple of absolute ‘must-reads’ this week – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its 2023 supervisory strategy letter here and most recent correspondence on the implementation of Consumer Duty here.

For the inside track on the FCA letters and the opportunity to ask burning questions, FBC corporate members are invited to join our digital meeting with Camille Blackburn, the FCA’s new Director of Wholesale Buy-side on 2 March 2023. Following an initial ‘fireside chat’ with Philip Warland, Chair of FBC’s Advisory Council, the floor will be open for questions to all meeting participants. FBC corporate members can register here.

Pensions under pressure

And a new consultation on value-for-money and pensions has been published jointly by The Pensions Regulator (TPR), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and FCA, here. Echoes of assessment of value (AoV) chime! Read the Financial Times (FT) write up here. 

Crypto clampdown

The UK Treasury has outlined its plans to regulate the digital assets market in the wake of the collapse of crypto exchange FTX. The proposals, here, centre around a number of crypto-asset activities, including exchanges, custody and lending.

Directive redirect

The European Parliament has approved an amendment to the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), bringing financial institutions within the scope of the regulation. The proposal agreed by MEPs means that asset managers would be required by law to scrutinise investee companies for environmental or human rights abuses. Ignites Europe reports here.

Raising returns

The EU’s financial services chief, Mairead McGuinness, has said an EU-wide ban on inducements could enable greater retail investment in exchange traded funds (ETFs), leading to better returns for consumers, reported in the FT here. The comments come as the European Commission considers a ban on inducements as part of its retail investment strategy, which is expected to be published in April.


Sustainable Investment / ESG

Scrutinising SDR

The consultation deadline for the FCA Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR), on 25 January, brought a rash of responses: the Treasury Sub-Committee on Financial Services Regulation announced plans to conduct its own work in this area, reported in Investment Week here; the Investment Association (IA) response, here, and the highlights of it in Ignites Europe here; and Money Marketing, here, reports on the consultation (or lack of) between the regulator and financial advisors. 

Alternative angst  

The latest edition of the PWC Luxembourg Fund Governance Survey, commissioned by the Luxembourg corporate governance institute, ILA, here, has revealed the high level of greenwashing concerns by boards of Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) in Luxembourg. Investment Officer reports here. 

Overcooked outcomes

An updated paper from SSRN, here, claims that socially responsible investment funds do not improve the environmental and social outcomes of investee companies, despite the majority claiming to make an impact, Ignites Europe reports here.

Engaging ESG

And last but not least of our Sustainable Investment / ESG focused reports on the reading list this week: the 2022 Egon Zehnder / Sustainability Board report, here, recommends that companies increase their sustainability engagement with diversity, education and self-reflection. 


Industry News

Asset splits

Fidelity International and JPMorgan Asset Management plan to split off illiquid Russian assets from their eastern Europe funds, Ignites Europe reports here.

Several of the news outlet cited in this blog require registration or subscription. Also, FBC takes no responsibility for the accuracy or quality of the news in the links provided above, and nor are the views and comments representative of FBC or its members, unless expressly stated. Content stored on the FBC portal is freely accessible for FBC members.