S&C Critical Insights – ESG Considerations for Financial Institutions

January 26, 2023

In this episode of S&C’s Critical Insights, Michelle Chen, a partner in S&C’s Financial Services Group, and June Hu, an associate in the Firm’s General Practice Group, discuss key ESG considerations for U.S. financial institutions in 2023.
Michelle and June recap recent ESG-related legal and regulatory developments in the banking, asset management and insurance sectors. The OCC, FDIC and the Federal Reserve proposed principles for climate-related financial risk management for large financial institutions, and the federal banking regulators plan to work together to issue consistent interagency guidance. State-level regulators, including the New York Department of Financial Services, are beginning to propose climate-related guidance which is intended to align with the work of federal and international banking regulators.
A key development in 2022 was the SEC’s proposal of climate disclosure rules. Michelle and June discuss the impact that the proposed rules may have on financial institutions, as well as the impact of overlapping ESG-related requirements from lawmakers abroad, including in the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Michelle and June also examine other ESG challenges that financial institutions may face, including “anti-ESG” scrutiny around climate targets and memberships in net-zero alliances, increased regulatory enforcement and litigation risk related to ESG and the potential impact of the Supreme Court’s decision last year in West Virginia v. EPA on U.S. federal agencies’ ability to regulate ESG activities.