environmental social – G Net http://gnet.org/ Sat, 16 Apr 2022 05:43:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://gnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default-150x150.png environmental social – G Net http://gnet.org/ 32 32 Banks’ exposures to Russia are much more transparent than those of non-banks https://gnet.org/banks-exposures-to-russia-are-much-more-transparent-than-those-of-non-banks/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 20:46:13 +0000 https://gnet.org/banks-exposures-to-russia-are-much-more-transparent-than-those-of-non-banks/ Hundreds of financial institutions are exposed to Russia, but we don’t know to what extent. NurPhoto via Getty Images Remember Long-term capital management and AIG? I am on. LTCM imploded in 1998, largely because of its investments in Russian Treasuries and other emerging market securities. In 2008, AIG Russia almost declared bankruptcy because a unit […]]]>

Remember Long-term capital management and AIG? I am on. LTCM imploded in 1998, largely because of its investments in Russian Treasuries and other emerging market securities. In 2008, AIG Russia almost declared bankruptcy because a unit in London, which almost no one knew about, was selling protection, through credit default swaps, to banks that were protecting themselves against defaults. on securitizations. Why is this walk down memory lane important? Because we are in 2022, and unfortunately, we are still in a situation where there is enormous opacity in the global financial system. If it were just wealthy investors losing money, most of the world’s population would hardly lose any sleep. However, when financial institutions lose money, they invariably impact unsuspecting citizens.

Many international standard setters such as the Financial Stability Board and the Bank for International Settlements have long warned that other financial institutions (OFIs), also known as non-bank institutions and shadow financial institutions, need to be regulated and supervised. Many of them are not. Yes, the biggest ones are often publicly traded so they have financial disclosures, but that doesn’t mean they’re overseen and scrutinized with a risk-based supervisory approach like banks and insurance companies are. .

Financial institutions are interconnected with Russia and with each other

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought to light the interconnections between financial institutions and Russia. Unfortunately, these interconnections remind us of the tremendous opacity that still exists in the financial industry, even after the lessons we should have learned in 2008.

Banks’ credit and market risks are much easier to understand because the way they’re regulated means there’s a lot more information they have to disclose. The problem, however, is that since much of the global financial sector is unregulated as banks are, the total extent of the financial sector’s credit and market exposures to Russia is unknown. A wide range of asset managers, hedge funds, home offices, insurance companies, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and university endowments invest in Russian financial assets, i.e. i.e. bonds, stocks, commodities, loans and the ruble.

Banks

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Commerzbank and, reluctantly, even Deutsche Bank have announced that they are leaving Russia. Getting out will take time, and no doubt it will be a complicated business. Leaving Russia does not necessarily mean that these banks will automatically stop lending to Russian entities or citizens or stop trading in Russian bonds, foreign currencies or commodities. Additional pressure from different stakeholders, especially those who want these banks to comply with global standards environmental, social and governance standards (ESG), will undoubtedly continue to influence the decisions of bank managers.

Fortunately, foreign banks’ exposure to Russian residents, financial institutions and corporates is relatively small compared to their total banking assets. Basel III capital and liquidity standards, adopted as requirements in more than 30 countries, also mean banks are in much better shape to sustain unexpected losses than they were in the mid-2000s. international regulations Data shows that the countries where banks are most exposed are Italy, France, Austria and the we. The banks most exposed to Russia are Raiffeisen Bank International ($25 billion), Societe Generale ($21 billion), Citibank ($10 billion), Unicredit ($8.1 billion), Agricultural credit ($7.3), Intesa Sao Paulo ($6.1 billion), ING ($4.9), BNP Paribas ($3.3), Deutsche Bank ($1.5 billion) and Swiss credit ($1.1 billion). These banks, in particular the Europeansare most likely to be affected if the Russian invasion intensifies.

US banks’ exposure to Russia represents less than 1% of the nearly $17 trillion in bank assets. Unsurprisingly, US banks the biggest exhibitions are to US residents, financial institutions and corporations. Their largest exposures to foreign advanced economies, as they have long been, are the UK ($642 billion), the Cayman Islands ($572 billion), Japan ($491 billion), Germany ($403 billion) and France ($327 billion). The largest exposures of US banks to emerging economies are in China ($139 billion), Mexico ($105 billion), South Korea ($121 billion), Brazil ($89 billion) and China ($139 billion). India ($78 billion).

Insurance and Reinsurance

The US insurance and reinsurance industry has low credit exposure to Russia. The US insurance and reinsurance sector held about $2 billion in Russian corporate and sovereign bonds. According to AM Best, they have very little exposure to Russian equities. Because US insurers are interconnected with companies, which themselves have revenue dependent on Russia, if the conflict escalates and is prolonged, it could impact US insurance companies.

Other Financial Institutions (AIF)

American asset managers have much larger exposures to Russia than US banks. What’s harder to see is how much pension funds and other investors hold in asset managers’ funds. Capital Group, Blackrock and Vanguard manage the funds most exposed to Russia; the other major asset managers with exposure to Russia are Fidelity, Invesco and Schwab.

The value of Blackrock’s Russian assets has recently dropped 94% from $18 billion. And Pimco Investment Management will take a big hit in its exposure to the Russian government, formerly valued at $1.14 billion; in addition, Pimco is a $942 million protection seller of credit default swaps. With Russia’s impending default, Pimco will have to honor these CDS protection payments. Franklin Resources also suffered significant losses this week in its Western Asset Core Bond Fund.

The exposures of US public pension plans to Russia are beginning to be felt. The pension plans are invested in Russian bonds and stocks either directly or through the asset managers’ investment funds. The CalPERS fund has $900 million exposure in Russia, while CalSTRS has around $800 million. the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retreat has an exposure of $300 million. the Virginia Retirement Systemsthe New York State Retirement Systemand the Washington State Investment Board each have over $100 million in exposures to Russia. North Carolina is less exposed, at $80 million. Every US state typically has at least two major pension funds, and countless municipalities have pension funds at the local level. Los Angeles County Employees, San Jose Police and Fire Department Fund, and New York City Police Pension Fund recently announced efforts to divest of their Russian investments valued at approximately $226 million.

If anyone can provide me with data on the total Russian exposures of hedge funds, home offices, pension funds, private equity and sovereign wealth funds, I would certainly be grateful. The reason we should all care is that these financial institutions are very interconnected with banks, insurance companies and asset managers. For the sake of ordinary Americans, we really should avoid LTCM and AIG surprises.

Recent articles by this author are below, and his the other Forbes publications are here:

Banks investing in Russia cannot cover themselves with the ESG mantle

Russia’s impending defaults will lead to an economic crisis worse than 1998

The Bank of Russia is desperately trying to prevent a run on the banks

From ruble to ruble

Rodríguez Valladares testified on the climate as a systemic risk for the financial system

Sea Level Rise Poses Growing Credit Risks for Many US Coastal States

Credit quality of oil and gas loans has improved significantly

Emerging market borrowing hits record highs

The Financial Stability Board says the resilience of non-banks needs to be strengthened

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Mendota Heights company’s approach turns 32,000 restaurants’ cooking oil into biofuel https://gnet.org/mendota-heights-companys-approach-turns-32000-restaurants-cooking-oil-into-biofuel/ Thu, 10 Mar 2022 22:58:59 +0000 https://gnet.org/mendota-heights-companys-approach-turns-32000-restaurants-cooking-oil-into-biofuel/ Restaurant Technologies in Mendota Heights sells bulk cooking oil to more than 32,000 commercial kitchens across the country. And that’s just the start of an increasingly green economic and environmental journey. Restaurant Technologies (RTI) filters and monitors the oil online until it is collected for sale as biodiesel feedstock. Turnkey, technology-driven approach for RTI has […]]]>

Restaurant Technologies in Mendota Heights sells bulk cooking oil to more than 32,000 commercial kitchens across the country.

And that’s just the start of an increasingly green economic and environmental journey.

Restaurant Technologies (RTI) filters and monitors the oil online until it is collected for sale as biodiesel feedstock.

Turnkey, technology-driven approach for RTI has driven operating income, before interest and taxes, growth of 25% per year since 2019. Revenues were approximately $650 million in 2021, increasing to a compound annual rate of 11% over the three-year period. which included the pandemic.

With customers growing 17%, it’s an envious scorecard.

“Restaurant Technologies has built a foundation to support better, more sustainable business practices,” said Jeff Kiesel, chief executive since 2005. “We’re also beating our numbers. We’re looking forward to… our next stage of growth.”

In February, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, majority shareholder since 2019, agreed to sell RTI for an unspecified amount to ECP, which focuses on investments in renewable energy and environmental sustainability. Continental Grain, which already has a stake in RTI, and Enlightened Hospitality Investments, an affiliate of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality group, are also investors in the deal.

It is the fifth time since Kiesel became CEO that a private equity deal has been struck.

RTI was a once struggling offshoot of a restaurant. It now employs 1,150 workers in an operation that handles nearly 300 million gallons of oil annually.

The oil is eventually sold to biofuel refiners who blend it with petroleum to produce low-emission diesel fuel for trucks.

The cycle solves a worker safety and environmental problem that has too often resulted in clogged ditches or sewer systems, with a profitable business solution, thanks in part to tax credit incentives.

RTI is also part of a local renewable fuels industry that is growing faster than the oil market. And get noticed.

For example, Chevron, the huge oil and gas giant, is buying Renewable Energy Group of Iowa, RTI’s first used oil buyer, for $3 billion in cash.

RTI research indicates that its contactless delivery and collection process, which uses custom trucks and hoses, results in a fuel feedstock that emits 86% less greenhouse gases during refining than oil. . RTI also eliminated 4.8 million cubic feet of landfill waste because it does not use plastic containers or other materials to distribute its oil.

Kiesel, 61, said ECP will help RTI pursue its emerging “ESG journey” which focuses on environmental, social and ethical governance.

Increasingly, research shows that companies that are more successful because of their employees, other stakeholders, and the environment have greater long-term financial success.

“We were extremely impressed with [RTI’s] market leader in providing kitchen automation solutions, anchored by its proprietary closed-loop oil management systems and extensive network of depots across the United States,” said Tyler Reeder, Managing Partner of ‘ECP, in a prepared statement.

Mark Leavitt, managing partner of Enlightened Hospitality, cited RTI’s track record as a good employer and innovator in environmental and safety matters.

About 850 of RTI’s 1,150 workers work in field operations. These jobs, including technicians, truck drivers, and warehouse workers, start at $18 to $30 per hour, plus benefits.

Kiesel credits RTI’s success to an excellent workforce that provides cost-effective service that takes the hassle out of handling hot oil for kitchen management.

Alissa Partee, RTI’s Director of Human Resources, and Kiesel said RTI’s workforce and managers reflect the country’s growing diversity — and point to it as part of RTI’s recipe for success. About a third of employees are people of color, and their promotions are happening at a slightly higher rate.

Turnover is low with up to 85% annual worker retention. Nearly 40% of new workers come from employee referrals, a high rate.

In the first year of COVID-19, when many restaurants and institutional kitchens closed, only 250 RTI field workers were laid off, some volunteers. Each depot worked out flexible weekly schedules customized by employees, and RTI paid everyone for 32 hours. The company also coordinated with state unemployment offices to cover the eight-hour difference for many workers who would otherwise have been laid off.

“We have great leaders and front-line employees,” Kiesel said. “We have met our personnel requirements, our customers’ requirements and our financial requirements.”

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CIM Group provides $343.8 million loan for the acquisition of a 55-story Class A office tower in Atlanta | Nation/World https://gnet.org/cim-group-provides-343-8-million-loan-for-the-acquisition-of-a-55-story-class-a-office-tower-in-atlanta-nation-world/ Wed, 09 Mar 2022 14:02:15 +0000 https://gnet.org/cim-group-provides-343-8-million-loan-for-the-acquisition-of-a-55-story-class-a-office-tower-in-atlanta-nation-world/ ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 9, 2022– CIM Group, a community-driven real estate and infrastructure owner, operator, lender and developer, today announced that a fund managed by CIM has closed a $343.8 million loan to finance the acquisition of Bank of America Plaza, a 55-story Class A office tower in Atlanta, by CP Group and investment funds managed […]]]>

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 9, 2022–

CIM Group, a community-driven real estate and infrastructure owner, operator, lender and developer, today announced that a fund managed by CIM has closed a $343.8 million loan to finance the acquisition of Bank of America Plaza, a 55-story Class A office tower in Atlanta, by CP Group and investment funds managed by HPS Investment Partners, LLC.

Bank of America Plaza is the tallest building in Georgia and includes 1,351,586 square feet of office space. Tenants have access to a variety of amenities including a 10,000 square foot conference center, 17,000 square foot fitness center, food court, on-site Starbucks, and 1.2-acre park along West Peachtree Street plus an abundance of nearby retail, dining and entertainment venues.

Proceeds from the loan will facilitate the acquisition and rental of the property, including a capital improvement plan with lobby renovations, restrooms, elevators and other property improvements.

Located at 600 Peachtree St. NE in Midtown Atlanta, Bank of America Plaza is located directly across from the North Avenue MARTA station, providing convenient access to public transportation for office tenants.

CIM Group is an active lender that, through its CIM Real Estate Debt Solutions business, recently closed a $175 million loan secured by a 42-story office tower in Tampa. CIM Group seeks to provide senior and subordinated bridge bridge loans for commercial real estate projects with strong sponsors.

CIM Group applies its extensive experience as an owner, operator and developer of all types of commercial real estate to its lending strategy and believes this helps differentiate the company from many other lending providers. Through mortgage and mezzanine lending, CIM affiliates provide bridge and construction financing to commercial real estate owners and developers in major U.S. markets and work with borrowers to offer a range of lending solutions. .

To learn more about CIM Group’s credit strategies, visit www.cimgroup.com/crecs.

About CIM Group

CIM is a community-driven real estate and infrastructure owner, operator, lender and developer. Since 1994, CIM has sought to create value in projects and positively impact the lives of people in communities across the Americas by completing more than $60 billion in critical real estate and infrastructure projects. CIM’s diverse team of experts apply their extensive knowledge and disciplined approach to the hands-on management of real estate assets, from due diligence to operations to disposition. CIM strives to make a meaningful difference in the world by executing key environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives and improving every community in which it invests. For more information, visit www.cimgroup.com.

Show source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220309005342/en/

CONTACT: Media Contact

Karen Diehl

Diehl Communications

310-741-9097

karen@diehlcommunications.com

KEYWORD: GEORGIA UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA

SECTOR KEYWORD: COMMERCIAL BUILDING & REAL ESTATE CONSTRUCTION & REAL ESTATE

SOURCE: CIM Group

Copyright BusinessWire 2022.

PUBLISHED: 09/03/2022 09:00/DISC: 09/03/2022 09:02

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220309005342/en

Copyright BusinessWire 2022.

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Sustainable finance drives climate, equity, prosperity and governance goals https://gnet.org/sustainable-finance-drives-climate-equity-prosperity-and-governance-goals/ Thu, 03 Mar 2022 15:04:21 +0000 https://gnet.org/sustainable-finance-drives-climate-equity-prosperity-and-governance-goals/ Kazi Awal / Initiate This article is part of the “Financing a Sustainable Future” series exploring how companies are taking action to set and fund sustainable goals. Insider, in partnership with Bank of America, is launching the Financing a sustainable future editorial series to help business leaders and their stakeholders – including employees, customers, shareholders […]]]>

Financing a sustainable future, in partnership with Bank of America


Kazi Awal / Initiate


This article is part of the “Financing a Sustainable Future” series exploring how companies are taking action to set and fund sustainable goals.

Insider, in partnership with Bank of America, is launching the Financing a sustainable future editorial series to help business leaders and their stakeholders – including employees, customers, shareholders and board members – understand the opportunities and uncertainties that accompany this centuries-old shift in capital markets.

Over the next five months, Insider’s reporting will bring to life the people, organizations and coalitions that are making things happen.

While much of the conversation around sustainable finance focuses on the climate crisis, Insider takes a holistic approach, with content dedicated to each of the four pillars of stakeholder capitalism like defined by the World Economic Forum.

  • People: Reflects a company’s equity and its treatment of employees. Metrics include reporting on diversity, pay gaps, and health and safety.
  • Planet: Reflects the dependencies and effects of a business on the natural environment. Measures include greenhouse gas emissions, land protection and water use.
  • Prosperity: Reflects how a company affects the financial well-being of its community. Measures include job and wealth creation, taxes paid, and research and development spending.
  • Governance principles: Reflects the purpose, strategy and responsibility of a company. Metrics include criteria measuring risk and ethical behavior.

A pivotal phase in sustainable finance

The series is incredibly timely. A key moment in the world of sustainable finance happened at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (otherwise known as COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland, in the first two weeks of November 2021 .

A consortium of some 450 banks, insurance companies and asset managers from 45 countries called Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), which had launched the previous April, announced that it had committed $130 trillion in assets to transform “net zero economy.”

“The architecture of the global financial system has been transformed to deliver net zero,” Mark Carney, leader of the coalition and former head of the Bank of England, said in a statement. “We now have the essential plumbing in place to bring climate change from the margins to the forefront of finance so that every financial decision takes climate change into account.”

GFANZ has its detractors, one criticism being that the coalition has made no mention of the fossil fuel divestment. Either way, the sustainable finance juggernaut is already on the move and becoming an increasingly important consideration for companies looking to raise capital.

To extend Carney’s plumbing analogy, imagine a $130 trillion pool of financial capital ready to flow in the form of lower-cost borrowing to companies that meet sustainability goals.

In order to exploit the advantages of this solution at a lower cost


liquidity

, companies must demonstrate their sustainability credentials. This is where another abbreviation comes in: ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. Companies are adapting ESG standards to signal to investors and financial institutions that they are attaching goals to sustainability statements and adopting a recognized function for investors to monitor their performance.

Sustainable finance goes beyond ESG, although the terms are often confused. It is the new ecosystem emerging from the legacy investment and finance structures that have capitalized on businesses for generations.

Much of the finance conversation focuses on the capitalization of large industries in transition. It’s also about driving innovation from the ground up. The opportunities to finance renewable energy and power industries, and to invest in emerging technologies and climate solutions, are on a scale never seen before.

A community of experts to help us tell these stories

To help us with this ambitious endeavour, we have convened the following advisory board to provide thought leadership and insights into how their organizations are setting goals and moving towards measurable results. We will also be showcasing our council in a series of virtual events, with the first taking place on March 8 themed on how investing in people transforms economies.

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Redlining, expanded CFPB oversight, and fair loan enforcement https://gnet.org/redlining-expanded-cfpb-oversight-and-fair-loan-enforcement/ Thu, 24 Feb 2022 22:42:58 +0000 https://gnet.org/redlining-expanded-cfpb-oversight-and-fair-loan-enforcement/ Thursday, February 24, 2022 Fair Lending laws have been around for decades, but have come under greater scrutiny in recent months, in keeping with society’s sensitivity to issues of racial justice, national origin/immigration, sexual orientation and gender identity, among others. There has also been increased scrutiny in the world of corporate governance, with companies setting […]]]>

Fair Lending laws have been around for decades, but have come under greater scrutiny in recent months, in keeping with society’s sensitivity to issues of racial justice, national origin/immigration, sexual orientation and gender identity, among others. There has also been increased scrutiny in the world of corporate governance, with companies setting up diversity, equity and inclusion departments and employing environmental, social and governance programs. In fact, to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange, U.S. issuers must disclose that they have at least one director who is racially minority and female or a member of the LGBTQ community, or explain why they don’t. (NASDAQ Rule 5605(f)).

The degree to which regulators enforce fair lending laws can vary depending on the administration in place, and the Biden administration is no exception. The Biden administration is only a year old, so there hasn’t been much time for new litigation, but policymakers appointed by President Biden have issued statements signaling what the banking industry may be up against. expect, including changes in the Trump administration.

This two-part series of articles will explore some of the most high-profile initiatives of the Biden administration. This first article will examine the renewed emphasis on combating the practice of redlining and the expanded watchdog role of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The second article will examine efforts to re-codify the Fair Housing Act (FHA) Discriminatory Effects Standards and enforce the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Final Rule of December 14, 2021 regarding home data. Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). – collection requirements.

Justice Department announces ‘anti-redlining initiative’

On October 22, 2021, United States Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would partner with the CFPB, OCC, local U.S. attorneys, and state attorneys general to prosecute violations of fair lending by banks, with a particular focus on redlining (i.e. the inability to lend to minority communities, based on race and national origin). He plans to use the offices of US attorneys, who, as boots on the ground, would be well placed to conduct investigations locally. More precisely, Mr. Garland said at a press conference:

“Discrimination in lending goes against the fundamental promises of our economic system. When people are denied credit simply because of their race or national origin, their ability to participate in the prosperity of our nation is virtually eliminated. Today, we are committed to addressing modern redlining by making much more robust use of our fair lending authorizations. We will spare no resources to ensure that federal equity lending laws are strictly enforced and that financial institutions provide equal opportunity for every American to obtain credit.

Underscoring the importance of this issue to the Biden administration, the press release announcing the program added, “The new initiative represents the department’s most aggressive and coordinated enforcement effort to combat redlining, which which is prohibited by the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. .” To make sure the DOJ’s message was absolutely clear, Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke noted that the initiative “should send a strong message to banks and lenders that we will hold them accountable while that we are working to combat racial discrimination and national origin”. – loan-based lending practices.

Along with the announcement, Mr. Garland added that on October 22, 2021, the DOJ sued Trustmark Bank for redlining in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and the FHA. The lawsuit alleged that Trustmark pledged to draw a red line on discrimination in the predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods of Memphis, Tennessee, from 2014 to 2018.

The Trustmark lawsuit is similar to the one filed by the DOJ against Cadence Bank in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on August 30, 2021, also alleging FHA and ECOA violations. In that earlier action, the government claimed Cadence engaged in redlining from 2013 to 2017 by failing to lend in neighborhoods inhabited primarily by minorities.

Historically, redlining actions have been brought against banks. However, the CFPB has indicated that it will also pursue redlining litigation against non-bank mortgage lenders, such as that brought by the CFPB (under the Trump administration) against mortgage lender Townstone Financial, Inc., on July 15, 2020, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois – the first lawsuit ever brought against a mortgage lender for redlining.

Although the majority of this type of fair lending litigation is brought by federal authorities, the ECOA and FHA provide a private right of action against creditors who discriminate against plaintiffs. (To see Cleveland v. Hunter, 2016 US Dist. LEXIS 175262, at *6 (ED Cal. Dec. 16, 2016) and Brown-Younger v. Mosen, 2011 US Dist. LEXIS 126852, at *4 (D. Nev. Oct. 28, 2011) (citing 42 USC § 3613(a)(1)(A)).)

Class action lawsuits may also be brought under these Fair Lending Acts (to see Fair house. CT. of Cent. Ind. vs. Rainbow Realty Group., 2020 US Dist. LEXIS 53084, at *18-19 (SD Ind. Mar. 27, 2020)). However, these collective disputes are faced with significant costs, in particular obtaining a class certification (to see Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. vs. Dukes564 US 338, 356 (2011); In re Countrywide Fin. Corp. Dead. Lending Practices Dispute., 708 F.3d 704, 709 (6th Cir. 2013); and ID. at 710; OK. Adkins vs. Morgan Stanley307 FRD 119, 146 (SDNY 2015)), as well as the inclusion of arbitration agreements in many loan documents that prevent the filing of a class action or the continuation of a class action (to see Pitchford v AmSouth Bank, 285 F. Supp. 2d 1286, 1292 (MD Ala. 2003)).

The oversight role of the CFPB

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection (DFA) Act directed the CFPB to implement regulations governing the collection of small business loan data. Specifically, Section 1071 of the DFA amended the ECOA to require financial institutions to compile, maintain, and submit to the CFPB certain credit application data for women, minorities, and small businesses. According to the CFPB, Congress enacted Section 1071 to:

  1. Facilitate enforcement of fair lending laws; and

  2. Enable communities, government entities and creditors to identify business and community development needs and opportunities for women-owned, minority-owned and small businesses.

On September 1, 2021, the CFPB published a proposed rule amending Regulation B to implement the changes made to the ECOA by Section 1071 of the DFA, including the requirement for financial institutions to collect and report CFPB data on credit applications for small businesses, including those owned by women or minorities. Information collected will include information on the type of credit small businesses are seeking and obtaining, demographic information about small business owners, how applications are received, and application results.

The CFPB proposes to use the definitions of “small business” set forth in the regulations of the Small Business Act and the Small Business Administration (SBA). However, the CFPB’s proposed definition will also take into account whether the business had $5 million or less in gross annual revenue for the prior fiscal year. The CFPB is seeking approval from the SBA to implement the Alternative Small Business Size Standard pursuant to the Small Business Act.

For banks that have more than $10 billion in assets, the CFPB is also authorized to enforce the Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices Act (UDAAP), which is part of the DFA. Given the ambiguity of the term “abusive,” the Trump administration issued a policy statement limiting its meaning and explaining that acts or practices labeled as “unfair” or “deceptive” also could not be considered. as abusive. Conversely, current CFPB director Rohit Chopra and his predecessor, acting director Dave Uejio, both support a broader interpretation — which could lead to increased penalties and penalties.

Finally, it is possible, if not foreseeable, that prudential regulators such as the OCC, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation may monitor the safety and soundness of smaller banks based in part on the fact that they engage in unfair, deceptive, and/or abusive acts and practices. Although enforcement actions cannot be formally taken under the UDAAP for these small banks, a monitoring mandate can be imposed in the interests of safety and soundness; these prudential regulators have a virtual plenary authority to supervise their banks.

Coming in March: the second in this series of articles will take a closer look at efforts to re-codify the FHA Discriminatory Effects Standards and enforce the OCC’s final rule of December 14, 2021 regarding collection requirements CRA data.

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Sands Recognized in S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook, Funds Responsible Gaming Research https://gnet.org/sands-recognized-in-sp-global-sustainability-yearbook-funds-responsible-gaming-research/ Mon, 21 Feb 2022 15:27:25 +0000 https://gnet.org/sands-recognized-in-sp-global-sustainability-yearbook-funds-responsible-gaming-research/ Operator Las Vegas Sands and its subsidiary Sands China, Ltd. won awards in the S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook 2022, the group announced last Thursday. Sands was the only US-based casino and gaming company included in the directory. Las Vegas Sands received a silver class award, while Sands China received a bronze class award. The S&P […]]]>

Operator Las Vegas Sands and its subsidiary Sands China, Ltd. won awards in the S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook 2022, the group announced last Thursday. Sands was the only US-based casino and gaming company included in the directory.

Las Vegas Sands received a silver class award, while Sands China received a bronze class award. The S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook is a comprehensive annual publication on the state of corporate sustainability around the world.

The Yearbook compiles the top performers in the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), an annual assessment of corporate sustainability practices. The CSA assesses more than 10,000 companies worldwide, says a press release.

Companies must be in the top 15% of their industry and achieve an S&P Global Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) score within 30% of the top performer in their industry in order to be listed in the directory.

Sands’ accolade in the 2022 S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook is the latest in a series of accolades from reputational benchmarks measure environmental, social and governance performance, according to the casino and resort company.

In addition to being recognized in the S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook, the company recently earned its ninth designation on Fortune’s list of “World’s Most Admired Companies”for the sixth consecutive year.

Additionally, Sands earned a spot on Newsweek America’s Most Responsible Companies 2022 list while in November 2021, it was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) for World and North America. It was the only US-based hospitality and gaming company recognized by both DJSI World and DJSI North America last year.

Our inclusion in these prestigious credentials signifies the commitment and dedication we have for responsible business performance and supporting our people, our communities and the planet,” said Katarina Tesarova, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer at Sands.

According to the executive, Sands is driven “by continuous improvement,” and this continued recognition demonstrates that the company is “evolving and progressing” in addressing the ESG topics most important to its business and its stakeholders.

Responsible Gaming

Inclusion in the ESG framework is based on a donation earlier this month to continue responsible gaming research and education. Sands provided $300,000 in funding to the International Center for Responsible Gambling (ICRG) to this end, the company announced last Tuesday.

Donation supports non-profit organization’s ongoing research and education on gambling disorders and responsible gambling. For more than 25 years, the center has aimed to help individuals and families affected by gambling disorders “through top-notch research and evidence-based education programs,” according to a press release.

Sands is a longtime supporter of the ICRG, with past donations helping fund a range of projectsincluding the first research effort focused on training credit counselors to identify customers with gambling problems and offer support, as well as the first website designed to reduce problem gambling among students.

“Sands has been a major donor to the ICRG for nearly a decade,” ICRG President Arthur Paikowsky said last week.. “Their support has enabled the ICRG to build the field of research that will lead to effective treatment, prevention and responsible gambling.”

Sands’ ICRG support complements the company’s Sands Project Protect program, “a comprehensive global initiative” that provides guarantees for guests and team members by promoting responsible gaming practices, preventing financial crimes and providing measures to combat human trafficking.

“Sands Project Protect offers a world-leading responsible gambling program that aims to reduce gambling risks and improve social protections to help our customers make informed choices,” said Maria-Christina Annaloro, Director of Government Relations and responsible gaming at Sands. .

ESG Sands program

Sands’ global commitment to corporate responsibility encompasses a broad body of work based on three pillars, says the company. These fundamental columns are People, communities and the planet.

The People pillar motivates the company to be the employer and partner of choice in the regions where it operates creating a culture dedicated to supporting team members, guests, vendors and partners.

Meanwhile, the Sands Cares global community engagement program leads the Community pillar and guides the company’s efforts “to address pressing social issues,” says a press release. It also aims to build resilience and maximize the strengths of its regions as valuable tourist destinations.

Ultimately, the Planet pillar finds that Sands works “to ensure the long-term environmental health” of its regions. It is led by the Sands ECO360 global sustainability program, which drives initiatives addressing low-carbon transition, water management, waste, plastics and packaging, and responsible sourcing.

The company reports on its goals, progress and achievements in these three pillar areas, as well as ethics and governance practices, in its annual Sands Environmental, Social and Governance Report ( ESG).

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Are ESG funds really popular? https://gnet.org/are-esg-funds-really-popular/ Sat, 19 Feb 2022 22:00:00 +0000 https://gnet.org/are-esg-funds-really-popular/ ESG investing is the talk of the town. Suddenly, many people who have money to invest want to be not only richer but also kinder to the planet. Unsurprisingly, investment options in so-called green businesses and projects are springing up like mushrooms after the rain. The question is, are people actually investing in it? The […]]]>

ESG investing is the talk of the town. Suddenly, many people who have money to invest want to be not only richer but also kinder to the planet. Unsurprisingly, investment options in so-called green businesses and projects are springing up like mushrooms after the rain. The question is, are people actually investing in it?

The abbreviation ESG refers to environmental, social and governance: three aspects of any company to which the new class of concerned investors has given priority. In fact, many so-called ESG investment options focus on the E part of the abbreviation, with investments focused on renewable energy companies, for example, or companies that have committed to decarbonizing.

Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s largest investment fund managers, launched not one but three ESG mutual funds and an exchange-traded fund this month. With them, Fidelity’s total range of ESG funds reached 15.

And Fidelity is far from alone. Investment giant Amundi recently added a new ESG fund to its range for the United States, called Pioneer Global Sustainable Equity Fund. Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, owns half a dozen ESG funds. Vanguard has more. ESG funds – mutual or exchange-traded, passive, active or a combination of the two – are the way of the future, it seems.

Where are they?

The Financial Times reported this week that an ESG exchange-traded fund backed by none other than the United Nations itself was set to fold. The reason: lack of investment. The fund, MSCI Global Climate Select, had attracted less than $2 million in investment.

The fund excluded fossil fuel companies, as all ESG funds do, and focused on low-emission companies. The top 10 stocks in his portfolio included Tesla, Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet, Google’s parent company. And yet the fund manager plans to shut it down by next month because no one wants to invest in it, including major Wall Street banks that had pledged seed capital for the ETF.

Perhaps the fund is failing because there is already a fairly large selection of ETFs focused on low-emission, non-fossil fuel companies. The reasons for the fund’s failure are perhaps more complex. The fact remains that the banks that had promised to inject money into it have not done so.

According to the banks themselves, as cited by the FT in its report, their seed capital pledges were also dependent on other investors joining the fund. Some of them, including Citi and Bank of America, said their investment commitments include a provision that their holdings in the fund not exceed 25% of its total size, which was impossible when its total size was of $2 million and their pledges were, respectively, up to $50 million and $12.5 million.

Another interesting fact is that the banks that pledged the money were all members of the Global Alliance of Investors for Sustainable Development, a group of 30 companies aiming to financially support the United Nations climate goals. Worth around $16 trillion in combined assets, members of the alliance include, besides BofA and Citi, Calpers, Pimco, UBS, Standard Chartered and insurance giant Allianz.

The most interesting part of the mystery is, in fact, the portfolios of these funds. Their creators claim to be made up of responsible companies on the environmental, social and governance levels. A quick check shows that at least some of these funds are simply ETFs like all the others, except they don’t include traditional energy stocks.

Take, for example, Vanguard’s ESG US Stock ETF. Its top ten holdings include, in descending order, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon and Tesla as its top five holdings.

Fidelity’s Sustainable Multi Asset Income Fund includes LVMH, Moet Hennesy, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, a wind energy investment firm – Greencoat UK Wind – and, interestingly, Chinese government bonds.

Now, since ESG funds prioritize emissions reduction efforts and, to a lesser extent, work on improving social and governance track records, one can assume that all of these companies have made commitments to that effect or are working already on these issues.

Tech giants, for example, are a safe bet for ESG fund managers because they have made huge and very vocal commitments to emissions reductions and renewable energy purchases. The same goes for other big companies just because they are in the spotlight. But does this mean that they will actually honor these commitments? This is where things get really interesting and quite confusing.

The issue of measuring ESG performance is gaining more and more attention because there is no standard way to measure how companies that have made climate commitments are actually working towards these goals. “Green bleaching” is increasingly in the headlines, with activists accusing companies of making empty promises and continuing to do business as usual at the expense of the planet.

So ESG investing is in troubled waters right now. Appetite is growing, and so is supply, but you can never be sure that the ETF you’re investing your hard-earned money in to make the world a better place is, in fact, made up of companies that are serious about reducing emissions. . or just go through the steps to please investors and keep them on board. This may be why the UN-backed ETF failed. It might not be the only one.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More reading on Oilprice.com:

Read this article on OilPrice.com

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Al Sidr environmental film festival returns to Manarat Al Saadiyat https://gnet.org/al-sidr-environmental-film-festival-returns-to-manarat-al-saadiyat/ Sat, 12 Feb 2022 05:57:01 +0000 https://gnet.org/al-sidr-environmental-film-festival-returns-to-manarat-al-saadiyat/ Efforts to improve the health of the planet can often have unintended and frustrating ramifications. By trying to move away from plastic bags, we have triggered what is known as the cotton tote bag crisis. Production of electric cars has increased at the expense of the world’s salt pans, which are mined for lithium. Metal […]]]>

Efforts to improve the health of the planet can often have unintended and frustrating ramifications.

By trying to move away from plastic bags, we have triggered what is known as the cotton tote bag crisis. Production of electric cars has increased at the expense of the world’s salt pans, which are mined for lithium. Metal straws, bamboo forks, and mason jars may seem like eco-friendly alternatives to plastic, but they also have a big environmental impact.

This sustainability paradox serves as the theme for the second Al Sidr Environmental Film Festival, to be held in Manarat Al Saadiyat from February 24-27.

The theme was named Oasis Paradox to reflect regional environmental issues. The festival seeks to find peace with the ambivalence that accompanies the fight against the climate crisis as well as various environmental and social issues.

“When you think of oases, it’s this pristine idea that it’s a refuge of trees and water, a green part in an empty desert,” says Nezar Andary, artistic director of the Film Festival. environment of Al Sidr. “But sometimes it’s also the place of other problems, such as disease or cash crops.”

“When you look at the history of the environmental movement, this paradox of the oasis is similar with the electric car and the lithium battery, or it can be the other way around, for example, to restart Al Ain Oasis, they had to use desalinated water These paradoxes are part of what I call “ecological consciousness”.

Andary says the paradox doesn’t necessarily need to be interpreted negatively, but rather should help us see our relationship with nature with a more nuanced perspective. The films at the festival, he says, bring this to light.

“Every movie has that in mind,” he says.

The festival will showcase a diverse range of feature and short films and will open with the 2016 award-winning documentary Honey, rain and dust directed by Nujoom Al Ghanem. The film follows three honey experts in the United Arab Emirates as they try to keep working amid a growing bee crisis.

Other documentaries shown at the festival include I am Greta by Fredrik Heining and Cecilia Nessen, which follows the rise of climate change activist Greta Thunberg, as well as the 1982 environmental film Koyaanisqatsi, an eye-opening visual and sonic classic that reveals just how far we’ve come from nature.

The festival also includes two fiction films, the award-winning Lebanese film Costa Brava, Lebanon, directed by Mounia Akil, and Sons of monarchs, directed by Alexis Gambis, professor at New York University in Abu Dhabi.

It also features invisible demonsa film presented at Cannes by the Indian author Rahul Jain, and will end with Tame the gardena Georgian film by director Salome Jashi.

The festival is co-organized by Zayed University and the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and is supported by Adnoc and the British Council.

“We set out to provoke audiences with films that ask tough questions, release emotions and raise environmental awareness,” Andary said.

“In our second edition, we aim to inspire the local community to imagine, feel and create more in our relationship with the environment. The Al Sidr Environmental Film Festival educates and entertains while providing a unique experience for film buffs and those with a passion for the environment.

Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, said media and visual arts are essential tools in tackling environmental issues because they have the power to “move people and to induce behavioral changes”.

“To highlight positive and impactful environmental work, the development of documentaries and films is essential,” she said.

“Both are powerful mediums that can raise awareness on meaningful and important topics, such as climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss and nature degradation, to name a few.

“The number of environmental challenges facing the world today is growing rapidly and events such as the Al Sidr Film Festival help shine a light on these challenges in a dynamic, engaging and informative way.”

Part of the Al Sidr Environmental Film Festival’s mission is to bring the local community together and mobilize action on important environmental and social issues.

The festival features academic roundtables, featuring biologists and political scientists as well as artists who will address a range of topics, including the politics behind protecting the planet and the links between humanity and the environment.

As with the inaugural 2020 event, the festival will also hold virtual screenings of a selection of films at a number of schools in Abu Dhabi to engage young minds and engage students in dialogue on climate change and the environment.

Dr. Justin Thomas, psychologist, writer and associate professor at Zayed University, will also discuss the link between climate change and psychological grief. And environmental studies students from Zayed University will present panel discussions aligned with the topics and themes of the films.

“With our second edition, we are delighted to make the Al Sidr Environmental Film Festival a permanent tradition in Abu Dhabi,” said Fares Howari, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Humanities at Zayed University.

“[We] aim to bring together environmental science and sustainability among diverse communities in the United Arab Emirates. We promote awareness of climate change and forge new relationships between the humanities, the arts and the sciences.

Updated: February 12, 2022, 8:17 a.m.

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European leveraged finance: Conclusion | White & Case srl https://gnet.org/european-leveraged-finance-conclusion-white-case-srl/ Fri, 11 Feb 2022 01:06:59 +0000 https://gnet.org/european-leveraged-finance-conclusion-white-case-srl/ A flurry of activity has seen year-on-year leveraged finance issuance in Europe hit new highs in 2021. Can this pace be sustained in the months ahead? Based on pipeline activity and investors’ appetite for growth, the answer appears to be: Yes. €289 billion The value of leveraged loan issuance in Western and Southern Europe in […]]]>

A flurry of activity has seen year-on-year leveraged finance issuance in Europe hit new highs in 2021. Can this pace be sustained in the months ahead? Based on pipeline activity and investors’ appetite for growth, the answer appears to be: Yes.

€289 billion

The value of leveraged loan issuance in Western and Southern Europe in 2021

As 2022 dawns, there are many reasons to be cautious about leveraged finance in Europe. The economic impact of the latest variant of COVID-19 remains an unknown quantity, inflation continues to climb and higher interest rates look increasingly likely – the UK was the first major economy in the region to raise rates and the EU could follow.

And yet, the leveraged finance business continues to defy expectations. Last year saw the highest annual total value for leveraged loans and high yield bond issues in Western and Southern Europe on By debts registration. Meanwhile, direct lenders raised record levels of funds and deployed them in a record year in 2021, including in the private equity (PE) space where direct lending is increasingly finding of breakthroughs.

As noted in this report, the drivers of this activity were clear. Refinance issuances in the first half of the year accounted for about half of all leveraged loan and high-yield bond issuance. The value of M&A deals in Western Europe has reached its highest level since the global financial crisis, establishing a steady stream of funding that has yet to reach conclusion.

Where does that leave European leveraged funding for the year ahead?

148 billion euros

The value of high-yield emissions in the region in 2021

Focus on future drivers

Several pockets of activity are worth watching over the coming period.

First, M&A activity, coupled with the ongoing private equity buyout spending spree, still has some way to go.

Year-over-year high-yield bond issuance supporting M&A (excluding buyouts) grew more than 50% in 2021, while buyout-related issuance more than doubled. There was also a 19% year-on-year increase in leveraged loan issuances from non-buyout M&As, with buyout issuances up 81%.

Much of this was due to a spike in mega-deals in Europe in 2021, with more than 150 deals worth at least $2 billion and seven worth at least $20 billion recorded l last year, according to Merger market, including the $31 billion combination between Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen. And where mergers and acquisitions go, emissions follow.

Second, on the equity side, sponsors spent more than US$300 billion in 2021, nearly double the previous year and the highest annual value on Merger market record – a trend that is expected to continue into 2022. Many private equity firms have already raised significant new funds or are in the process of doing so, and these will need to be deployed. All of this is fueling the debt and equity markets and will drive things forward in the year ahead.

And third, while the latest variant of the pandemic will likely continue to influence the decisions of lenders and borrowers, environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues will remain on everyone’s radar. The emergence of ESG financing has created new opportunities for the market and these can be expected to grow in 2022.

For many, it’s a matter of regulation. The EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, which entered into force in March 2021, “establishes sustainability disclosure obligations for manufacturers of financial products and financial advisers towards end investors”. More detailed information will be demanded of lenders in Europe hoping to hitch their wagon to the ESG train – any hint of ‘greenwashing’ will not be tolerated.

At the same time, where available, margin clickers linked to ESG or sustainability criteria will offer borrowers a potential way to reduce the cost of debt, especially in the event of rising interest rates. It also allows lenders to expand their yield-seeking net, giving them a way to reduce risk on credits they might not otherwise seek. It is a win-win scenario for both parties that could create a more sustainable financial and investment market.

Lenders and borrowers should prepare for another busy year, but keep in mind that these big waves of activity won’t last forever. Climb them for as long as you can, but be prepared to batten down the hatches for the next storm.

[View source.]

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ESG funds assets under management grew 2.5x in FY21: Nasscom https://gnet.org/esg-funds-assets-under-management-grew-2-5x-in-fy21-nasscom/ Fri, 28 Jan 2022 20:33:00 +0000 https://gnet.org/esg-funds-assets-under-management-grew-2-5x-in-fy21-nasscom/ Assets under management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds grew 2.5 times to $650 million in India in fiscal 2021 on an annual basis, a senior government official said on Friday. IT industry body Nasscom. Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh at the launch of the Enterprise Innovation Challenge said there has been a surge in […]]]>

Assets under management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds grew 2.5 times to $650 million in India in fiscal 2021 on an annual basis, a senior government official said on Friday. IT industry body Nasscom.

Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh at the launch of the Enterprise Innovation Challenge said there has been a surge in conversations around ESG.

“Companies are not only becoming attentive to the ESG performance of suppliers or partners they are willing to work with, but investors are also using ESG as a metric to drive investment.

“In India alone, the assets under management of ESG funds have multiplied by 2.5 in just one year. From $275 million in FY20, assets under management for ESG funds grew to $650 million in FY21,” Ghosh said. said during the virtual event.

Digital India CEO Abhishek Singh said ESG will be one of the industry’s top priorities.

He said at COP26, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made the net zero pledge which requires everyone to contribute including government and industry.

“Even when it comes to corporate governance, what we really need is that if our unicorns are to become true value-added companies and if our startups are to scale up and become the best in the world, adoption of ethical standards of corporate governance becomes a very important part of it.

“I’m sure the solutions from the Enterprise Innovation Challenge will not only help businesses, but government as well,” Singh said.

He said the increasing adoption of green technologies ensures a conservative use of water and natural resources, and provides a sustainable program that not only supports current needs but also those of the future.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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