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SASB Releases Provisional Sustainability Accounting Standards for Financials Industries, Second Set of Standards Issued for Use by Companies and Investors

Standards development process included feedback from individuals representing $1.3 trillion in market capital and $5 trillion in assets under management

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board™ (SASB)™, a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides sustainability accounting standards for use by publicly listed corporations in the U.S., today released provisional standards for industries in the Financials sector. SASB standards help corporations comply with existing regulation, Regulation S-K, to disclose all material issues in the Form 10-K. SASB is accredited to set standards by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

SASB's provisional standards address the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues likely to be material for companies in seven industries in the Financials sector: Asset Management & Custody Activities, Commercial Banks, Consumer Finance, Insurance, Investment Banking & Brokerage, Mortgage Finance, and Security & Commodity Exchanges. Examples of issues included are customer privacy and data security; integration of ESG factors in credit risk analysis, investment management and advisory; and responsible lending and debt prevention.  

SASB standards—which identify the minimum set of sustainability issues for each industry—are designed to be cost effective for companies and decision useful for investors. The average number of sustainability issues in each Financials standards is four and 79 percent of suggested accounting metrics are quantitative.

"The Financials sector is unique, in that it's comprised of both issuers and investors," says Dr. Jean Rogers, Founder and Executive Director of SASB. "As issuers, Financials companies can compete and improve performance on the sustainability issues most relevant to business success. As investors, Financials companies can compare corporate performance on material sustainability issues and direct capital accordingly."

SASB's standards development process includes research supported by Bloomberg data, multi-stakeholder industry working groups, a public comment period, and review by an independent Standards Council. The working groups for the Financials sector— which included 302 registrants— represented publicly traded companies with more than $1.3 trillion market capital and investment firms with more than $5 trillion in assets under management. A full list of working group members can be found here. SASB's standards for the Financials sector will be considered provisional for one year after the issuance date. SASB welcomes feedback on the standards during the provisional phase.   

"Our clients increasingly demand decision-useful sustainability information," says Daniel L. Doctoroff, CEO and President of Bloomberg L.P. "The release of SASB's Financials standards marks the beginning of a new era in market transparency and a new model for 21st century corporate reporting."

"The standards being developed by SASB are the clear answer to the compelling demand from almost all investors for broader disclosure of non-financial information," says Samuel Di Piazza, Jr., Retired CEO, PricewaterhouseCoopers, International. "The standards create comparative, industry-based benchmarks. Their adoption over time is simply inevitable."

Companies seeking assistance using SASB standards are invited to apply to the SASB Corporate Roundtable. SASB standards will be developed for 80+ industries in 10 sectors through the beginning of 2016. View the full schedule of SASB's standards development process here.

About SASB
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board™ (SASB)™ is an independent 501(c)3 organization that develops industry-specific standards for use in disclosing material sustainability issues in mandatory filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission. More than 1,000 individuals from individuals representing $13.9T assets under management and $5.7T market capital have participated in multi-stakeholder industry working groups informing standards development for five sectors to date.  For more information about SASB, visit www.sasb.org, or follow us on YouTube, Twitter or LinkedIn.

CONTACT:
Michael Boonshoft
1-212-994-7538
[email protected]

SOURCE Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

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