This week's issue includes coverage of several significant ESG and risk-related developments including: calls for the introduction of a new 'duty to prevent modern slavery' into the MSA, our key takeaways from the Governance Institute's latest Ethics Index and coverage of sessions from the Governance Institute of Australia's Public Sector Forum.  On the financial services front we provide an overview of the government's options paper on BNPL reform and more…

Boards and DirectorsNavigation

  • Director IDs: Consultation on proposed exemption for corporate bodies and 'resigned directors'

RemunerationNavigation

  • Goodman Group shareholders deliver 'second strike' 

Shareholder ActivismNavigation

  • Costco commits to setting new climate targets following majority vote on shareholder resolution 
  • Steel manufacturer Timkin Company sets eight year timeframe halving its emissions intensity, in response to activist resolution
  • 'Poor financial discipline': Alphabet under pressure from TCI to release a cost-cutting plan 
  • In Brief | Climate lobbying: The ACCR has urged investors in MCA member companies to engage 'early and forcefully' to persuade them to 'constrain the negative conduct of their industry associations' following the MCA's 'threat' to launch a campaign opposing the potential introduction of a windfall profit tax on coal exports

Meetings and Proxy AdvisersNavigation

  • Medibank shareholders back board resolutions at AGM following cyber incident

Markets and ExchangesNavigation

  • Back to the drawing board on CHESS replacement

RegulatorsNavigation

  • RBA governor highlights climate change and the energy transition among the key contributors to increased variability in inflation in the longer term 
  • In Brief | In a submission to the RBA review, the Centre for Policy Development has called for consideration to be given to updating the RBA's mandate to explicitly include consideration of sustainability, climate risks and opportunities and the maintenance of net zero carbon emissions in the interests of ensuring climate risks/opportunities are appropriately factored into the RBA's decision making/actions and ensure broader policy alignment 

ESGNavigation

  • Australian government appoints climate expert to the FRC, reiterates commitment to implementing new climate disclosure rules
  • Combatting greenwashing: UK regulator to coordinate the development of a new Code of Conduct for ESG data and ratings providers
  • In Brief | Tackling greenwashing: The European Securities and Markets Authority is consulting on draft guidelines for ESG and sustainability labelled funds. The due date for submissions is 20 February 2022 
  • In Brief | New report flags that major Nordic banks have increased their financing for companies active in Arctic oil and gas production, providing US $8.8 billion in loans and underwriting to 36 companies conducting 'significant Arctic oil and gas activities' since July 2020. In light of this, the report makes a number of recommendations for regulatory action to force change, including the introduction of higher capital requirements and a ban on fossil fuel loans to companies that are developing new oil and gas fields

Financial ServicesNavigation

  • Top Story | BNPL reform: Treasury consults on three potential options for the future regulation of the BNPL sector 
  • Quicker and smoother reporting under the reportable situations regime: ASIC releases new API 
  • DDO enforcement | The number of interim stop orders issued by ASIC increases to fifteen 
  • BCCC launches inquiry into compliance with the guarantee obligations under Part 7 of the Banking Code of Practice 
  • Australians have submitted 300,000 complaints to AFCA in four years 
  • APRA is issued draft investment guidance for super funds for consultation 
  • APRA seeks feedback on making four life insurance prudential standards 
  • QAR conflicted remuneration proposals paper: FPA has called for a 'proper review' of the LIF reforms, separately consumer groups call for an end to conflicted remuneration 

Risk ManagementNavigation

  • Top Story | Will cyber insurance help organisations manage cyber risk? 
  • Top Story | Most Australians agree that government and the private sector share an urgent ethical imperative to act on climate 
  • Top Story | Time to introduce a 'duty to prevent modern slavery'? 
  • How to create a 'speak up, listen up' culture: Insights from an expert panel 
  • How not to make the wrong decision: Why data is central to good governance 
  • Over 550 charities deregistered over repeated failure to meet reporting obligations 

Other NewsNavigation

  • CDR now live for the energy sector 

To see the full Governance News pdf, click here.