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FMA Executive Director Ettl: valid, standardised and comparable data are a basic precondition for sustainable financial services. The FMA Guide on Sustainability makes a significant contribution.

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“The availability of valid, standardised and therefore comparable data is a basic precondition in order to be able to identify and evaluate sustainability risks, to integrate them into risk management, as well as to comply with transparency requirements”, remarked FMA Executive Director Helmut Ettl at a high level round table, at which the findings of the RiskFinPorto Study on “Klimaexposition österreichischer Finanzportfolios” (“Climate Exposure of Austrian Financial Portfolios”) were discussed last evening at a video conference chaired by Leonore Gewessler, Austria’s Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology.

Ettl remarked that the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) has made a significant contribution with its “FMA Guide for Managing Sustainability Risks[1]”, which was subject of a broad public consultation and was published this year. Financial market participants should be able to prepare for the applicability of the EU Disclosure[2] and Taxonomy[3] Regulations with help from the Guide.

However, further efforts are still required by all financial market participants in order to be able to ensure appropriate cross-sector sustainability risk management. The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) in any case, according to Ettl, will dedicate one of its priorities for supervision and inspection activities for the coming years to the topic of sustainability: “On the one hand sustainability risks must be firmly and comprehensively anchored in both risk management as well as in strategy and governance in the entities that the FMA supervises, and on the other hand we must also ensure that consumers and investors receive valid information to allow them to assess sustainability aspects of financial products reliably and to be able to make informed decisions about their financial affairs. Greenwashing must be avoided.”

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[2] Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of the European Parliament and of the Council on sustainability‐related disclosures in the financial services sector (the “Disclosure Regulation”).

[3] Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, (the “Taxonomy Regulation”).

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