The Pension and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA)’s has given its support to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)’s new UK Stewardship Code following its launch.
The code, once implemented, will substantially raise expectations for how money is invested on behalf of UK savers and pensioners.
In its press release, FRC explained that the new Code establishes a clear benchmark for stewardship as the responsible allocation, management and oversight of capital to create long-term value for clients and beneficiaries leading to sustainable benefits for the economy, the environment and society.
Caroline Escott, Policy Lead: Investment & Stewardship, PLSA, said: “Pension schemes, as long-term investors, are well-placed to be good stewards of the assets entrusted to them by savers. Indeed, in our 2017 Stewardship Survey, we found that 76% of schemes considered ESG factors to be financially material and 71% used stewardship as a factor in their manager selection.
“It is absolutely right, therefore, that the Code is aligned to regulations elsewhere in explicitly referring to ESG factors – including climate change. We also support the shift in the Code to more explicitly cover asset classes beyond equity and its applicability to service providers, which play a key role in supporting schemes to make sound investment decisions.
“We are also pleased that the FRC has recognised the importance of collective engagement to good stewardship, and that this has retained its prominence in the new Code – as called for by the PLSA and many of our members.”
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