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The Anti-Greenwashing Rule: Understanding and Managing the Risk

Explore the requirements, risks and practical steps that can be taken to provide participants with a solid rationale for building their own internal anti-greenwashing control frameworks

A closer view of a bird feather with its unique patterns and different colors

A half-day course presented in a virtual class from 9:30am to 1:00pm UK time

Introductions
  • Welcome and agenda / objectives
What is sustainability?
  • Understanding sustainability
  • Evolving client priorities
Greenwashing
  • Definitions
  • How can it occur
Current Regulatory Position
  • Sustainability Disclosure Requirements
  • The EU equivalent – Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR)
  • The Four Sustainability Labels
  • Product Descriptors and Associated Rules
  • FCA Commentary on Greenwashing
  • The Advertising Standards Authority – additional detail
The anti-Greenwashing Rule (effective May 31st, 2024)
  • Claims should be correct and capable of being substantiated
  • Claims should be clear and presented in a way that can be understood
  • Claims should be complete – they shouldn't omit or hide important information
  • Comparisons should be fair and meaningful
  • Links to the existing Financial Promotions rules
  • Examples of good and poor practice
Greenwashing in Practice
  • Seven Deadly Sins of Greenwashing
  • Plus four more
  • Case studies – where firms got it wrong (and how to avoid it)

Summary

  • Wrap up
  • Questions and Answers
  • Open forum

With over 20 years of training experience in financial services, the trainer is well placed to support you across a range of compliance-related topics.  He is a former Head of Education for HSBC covering the UK and Europe, responsible for regulatory and financial crime related compliance learning.  His time at HSBC was during intense scrutiny from regulators and government functions during the bank’s Deferred Prosecution Agreement.

Other roles include leading the Monitoring and Testing programme for a UK Wealth Manager, and Senior Vice President responsible for Global Risk & Compliance training at a US-based bank.  He also worked in the Insurance Firms division at the Financial Conduct Authority (in the FSA days) where he was the divisional expert for the rules and outcomes required under the Training & Competence handbook.

The HSBC role, along with five years at Barclays in their Private Clients and Wealth functions, has seen the trainer work with retail, commercial, wholesale and private banking channels.  Since leaving HSBC, he has worked with the compliance, HR and operational teams of firms to enhance their regulatory understanding, as well as delivering content across private equity firms, investment houses, banks and wealth managers.  He regularly delivers core programmes for TISA and the Investment Association.

He is a former member of the Investment Management Association Training & Education Committee and won the Thomson Reuters award for “Most Effective Compliance Training at a Regulated Firm” in 2010.

  • Articulate why Greenwashing is such a regulatory concern for the FCA
  • Understand the threat to consumer protection through misrepresenting sustainability
  • Define Greenwashing and provide relevant examples
  • Recognise the terminology that can be used and the language that can only be used with care
  • Refer to relevant international regulation as required
  • Explain the anti-Greenwashing rule effective May 31st, 2024
  • Connect these requirements to existing COBS and Financial Promotions rules
  • Recognise several common typologies used to Greenwash products that must be avoided within your firm.

The course is suitable for all staff involved in the design, approval, operation, monitoring and auditing of financial products that make any reference to the sustainability characteristics of those products.

Hot on the heels of the EU regulation, the FCA published their Sustainability Disclosure Regulation which included an anti-Greenwashing rule.  This rule became effective May 31st, 2024 and additional guidance was published in April the same year.

Customers increasingly want ‘Green’.  Firms may suffer reputational damage and commercial loss if they are not seen to be ‘Green’.  Firms may be tempted to ‘Greenwash’ their products i.e. take an existing product, paint it green, and sell it to unsuspecting consumers who believe their needs and objectives are being appropriately met.  This risks harm to consumers and damaging the reputation of the industry as well as the integrity of the marketplace. 

This course explores the requirements, the risks, the practical steps that can be taken and provides participants with a solid rationale for building their own internal anti-greenwashing control frameworks.  We consider operational management of sustainable products as well as environmental claims within marketing activity.

Number of places:

£ 595.00

Discounts available:
Virtual Class

  • 2 places at 30% less
  • 3 places at 40% less
  • 4 places at 50% less
  • 5 places at 55% less
  • 6+ places at 60% less
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