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Commercial disputes & Financial services

MP’s call for a ban on ‘greenwashing’ in financial services firms

CityAM reported this week that MP’s are calling for a ban on ‘greenwashing’ in financial services firms, by making environmental labelling compulsory for consumer financial products and by tasking regulators to put a stop to misleading claims.

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Greenwashing is coming under increasing scrutiny from all angles, including MPs, regulators, NGOs and the general public.  It is also likely to give rise to legal claims, if investors and shareholders consider they have been misled about a company’s environmental credentials.

Many financial services companies are making environmental commitments, and are also subject to increasing disclosure obligations regarding climate change.  This raises the potential for misrepresentations to be made.  Widespread shareholder interest and responsiveness to environmental issues might make shareholders more likely to bring claims as a result.

We expect to see claims for negligent misstatement, and potentially shareholder class actions for greenwashing.

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