European Banking Federation (EBF)

InfluenceMap Score
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Organisation Score
Brussels, Belgium
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The European Banking Federation (EBF) has communicated high-level support for sustainable finance policy but, despite supporting some areas of EU regulation in this area, has lobbied to weaken several key EU policy strands. EBF has stated support for the role of the finance industry in meeting EU climate goals and the Paris Agreement.

While the organization has not clearly recognized the need for systemic reform to achieve a sustainable financial system, it has recognized the need for regulation to achieve certain sustainable finance objectives. However, the organization's support for regulation on sustainable finance has often come with significant exceptions that appear to weaken the target policy. For example, EBF was particularly engaged on the taxonomy regulation in 2018-20, supporting the policy in theory but arguing that thresholds should be set by the market (instead of being science-driven), suggesting it should only be applied to products marketed as sustainable rather than the whole market, opposing its extension to cover environmentally harmful activities and arguing for weaker thresholds for ‘green’ electricity generation to include natural gas. It reinforced this position and suggested an appropriate identification of neutral or in-transition activities in response to the Commission in 2020.

In 2019, EBF stated support for updating guidelines for the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) to include climate-related information but suggested that some aspects should remain voluntary. In 2020, however, EBF supported an ambitious review to the NFRD in feedback to the European Commission, including increasing the scope of mandatory disclosures and gradually increasing the range of companies covered by the regulation.

EBF has had a mixed position on the EU Green Bond Standard, broadly supportive of the policy in 2019 but not appearing to support ESMA-led supervision of external review providers that would require a legislative approach. In response to the Commission in 2020 it did support verification for the EU GBS. Similarly, EBF has mainly been supportive of the EU Ecolabel, supporting an exclusion principle for fossil fuels but has argued for a gradual approach to implementation.

In 2018, EBF argued against the extension of scope of the regulation on investors' ESG disclosures to cover all financial products and credit institutions. In response to the Commission in 2020, it also supported delaying implementation of policy around incorporating ESG factors into investor duties until a taxonomy was in place. In response to the ESA’s SFDR consultation on investor ESG disclosure in 2020, EBF also argued against the prescriptiveness of proposed indicators.

EBF has stated support for a 'green supporting factor' but appears to strongly oppose the creation of a 'penalizing factor' for polluting or unsustainable investments. In a 2021 consultation response, EBF appeared not to support the EBA’s suggestions for incorporating climate risk into Pillar 3 disclosures.

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