EACB views on NFRS for Financial Institutions (outreach event) by the EFRAG’s PTF: co-operative banks welcome a tailored SMEs approach in Non-financial risk reporting and looks forward to contribute to the new initiative of the European Commission to create a Single Access Point for Sustainability data.
The EACB is following with high interest the actions that the EFRAG is taking in the field of non-financial reporting, having the possibility to directly contribute to the work of the EFRAG Project Task Force on preparatory work for the elaboration of possible EU non-financial reporting standards (PTF-NFRS) of the European Lab @EFRAG. Last week the PTF has organized a series of outreach webinars, presenting some of the preliminary conclusions integrated in the outreach document. In particular, the EACB was taking part to the event focused on financial institutions and their role in the non-financial reporting standard setting. During the panel discussion, the PTF was stimulating the debate circulating live polling questions opened to the audience, to test stakeholders’ views and better address still pending issues before the finalization of the report (expected in few days). The summary of views and answers of EACB to EFRAG’s PTF can be found in our position paper (here attached) . The EACB focuses on some main aspects as follows: 1) time lag needed by Financial Institutions to produce sustainability reports based on corporate data; 2) creation of an EU public database to ensure data quality and accessibility; 3) tailored SMEs approach in Non-financial risk reporting.
Representing co-operative banks in the panel, Bouke de Vries, Chairman of the EACB Working group on Green and Sustainable Finance and Advisor to the Board on Public Affairs at Rabobank, stated:
”This outreach event was a very informative meeting, illustrating the various viewpoints on non financial risk reporting and the envisaged way forward. We note that much of these discussions so far focus on larger companies. Cooperative banks also service many SME’s and the SME sectors are very significant in the economy. We have therefore asked EFRAG to also look into the development of tailor made frameworks on non financial reporting for SME’s, based on common methodology and simplified where needed. Clearly SME’s do not avail of the same kind of resources to report but in some way or another their ESG risks, opportunities and footprints also have to be documented. In the interest of the transitions that will take place in the coming years and to help them access green finance. Further, practically speaking, banks need these ESG data to be able to report on their SME portfolio’s themselves.”
Data are in many ways crucial to this topic of non financial risk reporting. “We are therefore very positive about the recent envisaged initiative of the Commission to create an European Single Access Point (ESAP) for financial and non-financial information publicly disclosed by companies, this is completely in line with our priorities to help finance the transitions”, says de Vries. In the view of the EACB, the European register should first and foremost focus on registering the taxonomy-based information as first building block. This will have to be done according to the Taxonomy Regulation. If the Commission will develop a legislative proposal in this regards in the second half of 2021, the EFRAG could in the EACB’s view also play an important role in advising the drafting process.
You will find more information at the following link.
For any questions, contact:
Elisa Bevilacqua, Head Sustainable Finance & Communication
Giovanni Betti, Adviser, Sustainable Finance