This week's issue includes coverage of several significant ESG developments including the consultation on a new Bill proposing to enable the AASB and AUASB to develop and maintain sustainability standards and accompanying auditing and assurance standards, in line with the government's commitment to introduce internationally consistent sustainability standards. The issue also includes coverage of APRA's first CVA exercise, the joint 'call for evidence' on greenwashing issued by European regulators and more. On the financial services front, the issue includes coverage of the release of APRA's first handbook for bank directors and more…

DiversityNavigation

  • EU legislates gender quotas for listed company boards 
  • Diversity a priority for fund managers, but still work to do says FSC 

RemunerationNavigation

  • Shareholders deliver 'strikes' at EML Payments, Beston Global Foods 

Shareholder ActivismNavigation

  • Shareholder lobbying proposal withdrawn at Microsoft in exchange for new commitments from the company 
  • Guide to active engagement on climate in Asia released 

Institutional Shareholders and StewardshipNavigation

  • US DOL Rule removes barriers to considering ESG factors in plan investments 

Other Shareholder NewsNavigation

  • Top Story | Bill to further modernise existing Treasury laws requirements introduced

Disclosure and ReportingNavigation

  • Preparing for the introduction of climate reporting requirements: Consultation on new Bill launched 
  • Greenwashing: European regulators issue joint call for evidence 
  • Switzerland moves to mandate climate reporting for large companies 
  • EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Legislation adopted 
  • In Brief | HKEX report on ESG disclosures concludes 'good progress' has been made on ensuring that boards of Hong Kong listed companies are giving the necessary focus to ESG considerations'. The report also includes a number of recommendations to spur further progress by issuers in line with HKEX's goal of aligning with the TCFD framework and the new ISSB climate disclosure standards (once finalised). Recommendations include a recommendation that 'issuers commence the planning and building of the necessary infrastructure and systems for enhanced climate reporting requirements in the future' 

ESGNavigation

  • Top Story | ESG in mining – credibility issues creating a platform for change
  • APRA has published the aggregated findings of its first Climate Vulnerability Assessment of Australia's five largest banks
  • Lapse in ESG standards: GSAM pays $6m penalty to settle SEC ESG fund charges
  • UNESCO report recommends that the Great Barrier Reef be added to the World Heritage 'In Danger List', government says it is already acting on the issue 
  • The government has established a new advisory group to guide Australia's transition to a circular economy
  • AGL announces early closure of SA power station 
  • UK investor coalition calls on UK companies to support low paid workers during the worsening the cost of living crisis 
  • In Brief | Treasury Laws Amendment (Electric Car Discount) Bill 2022 (Electric Car Discount Bill) which provides a fringe benefits tax exemption for eligible cars made available for employees by employers, passed both Houses of parliament on 28 November 2022. The Treasurer has described the Bill as a 'win for motorists, a win for business and a win for the climate' 
  • In Brief | PRI has released new guidance for asset owners and asset managers on implementing and monitoring climate commitments across multi-asset portfolios
  • In Brief | State of the Climate Report: The latest two yearly report from the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology outlines how the changing climate is supercharging the pace at which extreme weather events – eg extreme heat events, flooding, extended fire seasons - are occurring in Australia. The government has pointed to the report as evidence of the need for urgent climate action

Financial ServicesNavigation

  • 'One stop shop': APRA releases director handbook for bank board directors
  • Governance, culture, remuneration, accountability: APRA offers insights into key projects
  • DDO enforcement | Number of interim stop orders issued increases to 17
  • ASIC grants FSG relief to certain authorised representatives
  • New superannuation transparency measures announced, Bill introduced
  • US regulators find a 'shortcoming' in Citi's resolution plan
  • ASIC launches Federal Court proceedings against Block Earner over (allegedly) unlicensed crypto product
  • APRA calls on super boards to lift their ambition
  • In Brief | The Federal Court has dismissed proceedings brought by ASIC against the CBA over misleading conduct over monthly access fees. ASIC has said it will 'carefully consider the judgment' 

Risk ManagementNavigation

  • Medibank data breach: APRA issues 'interim update', flags expectation that the insurer implements 'appropriate consequence management'
  • Cyber risk: Assistant Treasurer calls businesses to rethink data collection practices
  • ACMA directs Telstra to comply with hardship rules, puts other telcos on notice that customer protection is a priority for the regulator
  • Austrac accepts enforceable undertaking for ING
  • Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enforcement and Other Measures) Bill 2022 has passed both Houses
  • Workplace gender equality: Champions of Change Report finds member organisations are prioritising measures to stamp out workplace sexual harassment 
  • In Brief | The Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Bill 2022 which implements several recommendations of the landmark [email protected] report passed both Houses on 28 November 2022
  • In Brief | 'Time for respect': The AHRC's fifth national survey investigating the prevalence, nature and reporting of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces concludes that that sexual harassment is 'still unacceptably common in Australian workplaces', with one in three people experiencing sexual harassment at work in the last five years. The report also highlights that workplace sexual harassment remains underreported (the reporting rate is just 18%)

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