Regulatory work on sustainability in the financial market

In its report on sustainability in the financial sector (June 2020), the Federal Council set itself a target of making the Swiss financial centre a leading location for sustainable financial services. The aim is not only to strengthen competitiveness, but also to make an effective contribution to meeting climate and environmental targets (see press release of 26 June 2020). An internal working group led by the SIF, in close collaboration with the FOEN, is looking in depth at issues concerning transparency, risks and due diligence.

The completely revised CO2 Act obliges the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to assess and report on institute-related climate risks and risks to financial stability at regular intervals. The Council of States has also referred three postulates with a view to determining further measures (see 'Law' tab on the bottom of the page "Climate and financial market"). In addition, a long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategy will be developed for all relevant economic sectors, in compliance with the Paris Agreement. This will include measures to ensure the climate alignment of financial flows. The FOEN is conducting research to explore the potential to expand the PACTA analysis to other environmental areas, such as biodiversity and forests. At the same time it undertakes research to highlight which strategies pursued by financial market actors are effective, in order to generate a effective climate and environmental impact in the real economy. At the end of November 2020, the FOEN will publish an overview study on the status of current global research in this area.

Because many Swiss financial market actors also sell financial products in the European Union, EU regulations are particularly relevant. The European Commission intends to extend its strategy on sustainable finance and implement the Action Plan containing 10 measures that it published in March 2018. Various regulatory changes will come into force in 2021, such as the disclosure of sustainability risks and impacts for all financial products and the explicit consideration of non-financial objectives in the advice given to clients. And there is already a classification system (taxonomy) for 'green' economic activities in the field of climate change. 

Last modification 05.01.2021

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