A historic number of businesses have committed to investing UK savers’ and retirees’ money sustainably.
On Wednesday, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) reported that its UK Stewardship Code 2020 has attracted a record number of signatories.
Long-term wealth creation and lasting benefits for the economy, environment, and society are the goals of the code, which establishes stringent criteria for anyone investing money on behalf of UK savers and pensioners.
During the spring 2023 application period, 27 new organizations joined the list of signatories to the code, while 164 existing signatories renewed their commitment.
This brings the total number of signatories to 277, and their combined assets to £44.6 trillion.
There are a total of 189 asset managers, 69 asset owners, and 19 service providers in this group.
Aviva Life and Pensions UK Ltd, Barclays Bank UK Retirement Fund, BlackRock, Church of England Pensions Board, Royal Mail Pension Plan, Schroders, and HSBC Global Asset Management (UK) are only few of the organizations that participate in the Arts Council Retirement Plan (1994).
This comes at a time when UK businesses are putting more emphasis on ESG performance due to increased public scrutiny and stricter laws in response to the climate emergency and cost-of-living issue.
The FRC has expressed its satisfaction with the steady expansion of non-listed equity assets that fall under the purview of the code.
The document also applauded signatories for their efforts to improve board diversity at investee companies and increase climate change and biodiversity disclosure.
In accordance with their business model and strategy, companies which sign the updated Stewardship Code are urged to provide long-term value for their customers and beneficiaries.
“It is great to see a further increase in the number of signatories to the code, alongside the overall quality of reporting continuing to improve,” said Mark Babington, executive director of regulatory standards at the FRC.Signatories are encouraged under the updated Stewardship Code to “provide long-term value to customers and beneficiaries in a manner consistent with their business model and strategy.”
“The UK Stewardship Code sets high standards for asset owners, asset managers, and the service providers that support them,” said Andrea Tweedie, head of stewardship at the FRC.I’m excited to keep working with our many partners to improve stewardship reporting in the United Kingdom and so promote long-term gains for the economy, the environment, and society at large.