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In many financial services sectors, environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) concerns are driving innovation, SEC disclosure requirements, and even risk and compliance assessments. However, first among prudential banking regulators, the FDIC published on September 2 a notice to consumers on ESG considerations, in particular concerning the impact of “banks on the environment”.
The advisory offers several ways for consumers to direct their financial activities to help them “go green” and “eventually reduce” their carbon footprint. Conducting banking electronically topped the FDIC’s list of suggestions — which includes everything from using direct deposit for paychecks to signing up for eStatements and using features online to pay bills, deposit checks and transfer funds. The FDIC also mentioned that it was considering a home improvement loan to improve the energy efficiency of the home or to address environmental impacts, and that it was considering financing electric cars, hybrids or fuel efficient. Rounding out the suggestions, the FDIC encouraged consumers to consider canceling junk mail, using public transportation or walking or biking, and finding “new ways to reuse or repurpose items.” borrow, instead of buying new ones”.
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