United States: SEC fines BNY Mellon $1.5m for ESG misstatements

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined the Bank of New York Mellon $1.5 million for misstatements and omissions about its ESG considerations, as onlookers say the “party will be over for greenwashers”.

The SEC announced yesterday that BNY Mellon’s penalty was a result of statements the investment bank had made from July 2018 to September 2021.

These statements were that all investments in certain funds had undergone an ESG quality review.

Yet, on a closer look, the SEC found that at the time of BNY Mellon’s claims, numerous investments in those funds did not have an ESG quality review score.

Sanjay Wadhwa, deputy director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement and head of its Climate and ESG Task Force, commented: “Registered investment advisers and funds are increasingly offering and evaluating investments that employ ESG strategies or incorporate certain ESG criteria, in part to meet investor demand for such strategies and investments.

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