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From green finance to access to cash, Sunak sets out vision for UK financial services reforms

From green finance to access to cash, Sunak sets out vision for UK financial services reforms

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has published a roadmap for reforming capital markets, boosting opportunities for green investment, and protecting access to cash.

In his first address at Mansion House, the Chancellor set out his vision for the future of UK financial services: "More open, more competitive, more technologically advanced, and more sustainable - that is our vision for financial services. The Roadmap we are publishing today sets out a detailed plan for the next few years."

On Green finance, Sunak announced plans to require companies, pension schemes, financial services firms and their investment products to report on the impact they are having on the climate and environment - as well as the risks and opportunities facing their business.

These new integrated Sustainability Disclosure Requirements will bring together and streamline existing climate reporting requirements and go further to ensure consumers and investors have the information they need to make informed investment decisions.

Alongside this, the Government is to work with the Financial Conduct Authority on the creation of a new sustainable investment label - a quality stamp - so that consumers can clearly compare the impacts and sustainability of their investments for the first time.

Details have also been announced on the types of green projects that will be eligible for funding when the UK issues its first ever sovereign green bond later this year.

Projects like zero-emissions buses, offshore wind and schemes to decarbonise homes and buildings will be eligible for funding, with at least £15 billion of green gilts issued in the first year.

On the Government's plans for legislation to protect access to cash, Sunak pointed to a new consultation which proposes new laws to make sure people only need to travel a reasonable distance to pay in or take out cash. The FCA will also be given the power that it needs to hold firms to account to meet these requirements, he says.

Consultations are also underway on reforms to the regulation of wholesale capital markets and a fundamental review of the prospectus regime.

Sunak says the prospectus review will cover the rules governing the information companies must publish when raising finance to "make it simpler, more agile and more effective".

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