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The FMA Sets Out Its Mandate For Integrated Finance

Mindful Money welcomes the Financial Markets Authority guidance on ethical and responsible investment released yesterday. This sends a strong signal to fund managers and the overall sector that the FMA will take action on misleading claims.

The FMA’s announcement in an important element in their framework for an ‘integrated financial system’, the term they use for a financial system that takes into account the risks and opportunities of social and environmental issues on finance and the impact of finance on society and the environment.

Barry Coates, Mindful Money’s CEO welcomed the policy: “The FMA’s new framework of measures on integrated finance provides a mandate for action. They have now signalled that they will use fair dealing laws to retain the trust and confidence of the public in integrated finance. This will include action on marketing and communications that confuses the public, as well as more serious cases of misleading the public.

“Regulations on disclosure are crucial to bring transparency to integrated finance. The FMA’s framework will include new laws on climate disclosure and rules on default funds that include disclosure of ethical policies. Transparency is the sunlight that build trust and confidence.

“Mindful Money will work alongside these new rules to add transparency on KiwiSaver funds and retail investment funds, and build the capability of investors.

The FMA is showing they recognise that the finance system is not just about money. They have brought their work into line with the government’s Living Standards Framework. The FMA’s new mandate integrates both aspects – firstly that climate change, the environment and social issues create financial risks and opportunities, and secondly that financial decisions have a crucial impact on the climate, the environment and people.

“A month after the release of the Sustainable Finance Forum, this signals that the FMA will play a crucial role in guiding, supporting and regulating the transition to an integrated finance system.”

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