Russian banks expect a ban on investments in toxic business & nbsp

by Birgit
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Russian banks expect that the recommendations issued by the Central Bank on responsible investment will become mandatory, which means that credit institutions will not be able to invest either their own or client money in businesses that harm the environment or use discriminatory practices and cheap labor. Representatives of banks informed Izvestia about this. As the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Sovcombank Alexey Panferov noted, the recommendations will not necessarily become the subject of regulatory oversight, but they form the focus of the state's attention and market participants will reckon with this. According to Konstantin Tserazov, Director of the Investment Business Department of Otkritie FC, it is obvious that the regulator will gradually increase the responsibility of large investors for climate change, environmental protection and the implementation of social projects.

In the long term, this approach will be beneficial to investors, compliance with the recommendations will increase the reliability and profitability of investments for clients, the press service of the Central Bank said.

According to the head of the analytical service of NPF “Safmar” Yevgeny Biesbardis, the recommendations will remain voluntary, but economic incentives will be created for their use. These can be relaxation of asset limits or income tax benefits. According to Safmar, up to 90% of companies are unlikely to meet the requirements of responsible investment. And NPF clients are not ready to sacrifice part of their pension for the sake of investing their savings in assets that satisfy ESG factors (environmental, social and managerial “), the profitability of which may be lower.

As experts commented, the point of responsible investing is to look not only at the company's profit now, but also at the ways of earning it. If a company harms nature, society or the state, then it threatens with fines or a decrease in the value of the brand, and quotations will begin to fall. Also, neglect of environmental and social risks can turn into large lawsuits affecting the capitalization of companies, the profitability and reliability of the financial instruments they issue. However, the question of the profitability of responsible investment is far from unambiguous, experts said in solidarity. Formally, many companies, both Russian and foreign, fall under the definition of a socially and environmentally responsible business, but if you look at the news, it is easy to make sure that the same retailers are constantly caught using child labor, and oil and gas companies – on environmental violations, experts added. …

The document of the Central Bank does not contain a single concrete example, said Alexey Gavrishev, managing partner of AVG Legal. He found it strange that the Central Bank clarifies the meaning of terms that should already be known to specialists, but does not provide direct recommendations in a company with which characteristics it is not worth investing.

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