[Skip to content]

Sign up for our daily newsletter
The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Financial services sector lags behind all others for TCFD reporting

Companies in the financial services sector are the least committed signatories to the Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures (TCFD), new research has found.

Climate change poses economic risks and opportunities ©Shutterstock
Climate change poses economic risks and opportunities ©Shutterstock

Analysis of their annual reports shows that the percentage of non-financial TCFD signatories placing a high emphasis on climate change risks is double that of financial ones.

This is despite the financial services sector representing around half of the more than 300 firms signed up to the TCFD, and approximately $17trn (£13.2trn) in market capitalisation.

Donato Calace, director of innovation at software firm Datamaran, which carried out the research, said the results were “not surprising” and that financial services must step up.

“They have the power to influence the market through impact investments, green bonds, and loans,” he continued.

“It is time for financial services to take the lead. The time is ripe as there are signs that show the tide is changing, like the EU action plan or the TCFD recommendations.”

The TCFD recommendations were published last year to help businesses report consistent, comparable, and reliable climate-related information to investors and lenders.

Some of the world’s largest pension funds, banks, insurers and asset managers have given their support to the initiative, as well as corporate giants like PepsiCo and Unilever.

The latest research shows that 35% of non-financial signatories place a high emphasis on climate change and air quality in their annual reports, compared with 17% of financial firms.

It was also found that financial companies only started to put more emphasis on climate change after the TCFD recommendations, but that non-financial firms had done so a year before.

Speaking last year, TCFD chair Michael Bloomberg, said: “Climate change poses both economic risks and opportunities. But right now, companies don’t have the data they need.

“The TCDF’s recommendations will help change that by empowering companies to measure and report risks in a more standardised way – we hope many others will join the initiative."

Sign up to our free newsletter here and receive a weekly roundup of news concerning the actuarial profession