The tool is designed to help UK companies, financial institutions, law firms and funds in assessing whether or not a UK entity has to comply with the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
SFDR-in-the-UK Assessor automatically assesses whether a UK entity has to comply with the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. With the goal of integrating sustainability risks in investment decisions, the SFDR requires financial market participants, insurance intermediaries, and financial advisors to comply with strict transparency and disclosure requirements.
Some of the obligations that firms will need to satisfy consist of the publication of written policies on the integration of sustainability risks in their investment decision making process, making pre-contractual disclosures, publishing sustainability investment targets and periodical reports and complying with transparency rules.
SFDR-in-the-UK Assessor facilitates the self-assessment of the applicability of the SFDR to certain types of products and market participants from the UK. The tool also provides the option for the user to receive automatic updates about upcoming sustainability-based financial disclosure regulation in the UK which impacts their business.
The tool’s modular logic contains all applicable guidelines and amendments which can easily be updated to accommodate changing laws and to provide tailored advice to businesses.
With the European Commission’s Action Plan on financing sustainable growth from March 2018, came Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 on Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
The SFDR seeks to ensure the transparency in the sustainability of financial products, while promoting private investment in sustainable investments and prevent green washing. The SFDR will be phased-in from March 2021.
Does SFDR Apply to UK Firms?
Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, the SFDR will not be implemented as part of UK law. However, this does not mean the SFDR will not have an impact on UK firms, companies, banks, funds etc. There are a number of situations where UK entities will still be required to comply with the SFDR, such as when a UK-based private equity firm wishes to enter the EU market or manage EU-based funds. In such cases, the company would be subject to the SFDR in the capacity of an Alternative Investment Fund manager. Plus, it is expected that additional pressure coming from investors and clients would lead to UK companies opting to comply with the SFDR requirements and thus ensure better market positioning.
Scope of UK SFDR Divergence
While it has not adopted the SFDR requirements, the UK is bent on prioritizing green financing, both over the short- and long-term. In November 2020, the UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced that UK will be the first country in the world to make Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) aligned disclosures fully mandatory across the economy by 2025.
This means that sustainable financing remains a top priority for UK firms, and it is reasonable to expect that the UK sustainability requirements will largely overlap with the SFDR rules. However, during the interim period, UK firms need to assess the need to comply with the SFDR on a case-by-case basis, to ensure full regulatory compliance but not miss out on offering financial products in lucrative deals. Given the importance of sustainability checks, these compliance assessment efforts cannot be efficiently done manually. Plus, the fast-changing environment of the ESG is not suitable for traditional software development projects.
With BRYTER, law firms can easily and quickly build an automated SFDR-in-the-UK Assessor that determines whether a UK entity must comply with the SFDR. To start the assessment, the user is guided through a series of questions relating to the type of entity in question and the financial products offered, as well as the way in which the products are offered and marketed. The input determines whether the business must comply with the SFDR in any capacity. Due to the open architecture of the BRYTER no-code platform, the embedded modular logic of the tool can easily be amended to account for any changes in the law.
Automated & Standardized
Using financial services automation, the SFDR-in-the-UK Assessor allows companies to auto-assess their business against the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation with regard to their financial products through a standardized process. This ensures a consistent approach and documentation.
Centralized audit trail
Within the SFDR-in-the-UK Assessor, all collected information, advice and next steps are tracked and documented in a centralized audit trail. This allows businesses to prove and document compliance efforts, if needed.
The SFDR-in-the-UK Assessor can easily be integrated into an existing IT infrastructure so that users can for example access the tool via a client portal or within their company’s intranet.
As every application built on BRYTER is customizable, the SFDR-in-the-UK Assessor may contain guidance for market participants of all sizes and can easily be updated to accommodate changing laws.
How it works
Go through Q&A
By clicking through a customizable and user-friendly questionnaire, the user provides all relevant information such as the type of market participant, the characteristics of the financial product and the markets they are provided to. The user’s input then determines whether or not the SFDR applies to the entity in UK question.
Once the user receives the result as to whether or not the entity in question has to comply with the SFDR, they are given the option to receive direct updates about new UK regulation regarding sustainable finance disclosure and how it impacts their business.
The open architecture of the BRYTER platform allows the application to be updated continuously in the background ensuring that the generated advice is always compliant and up-to-date with any changes in the law.