Singapore Regulator Issues Code of Conduct for Providers of ESG Rating and Data Products

Singapore’s financial overseer The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has published its finalised Code of Conduct for ESG Rating and Data Product Providers (CoC) and an accompanying checklist for providers to self-attest their compliance to the CoC, following a public consultation conducted from June to August 2023.

The regulator said the CoC aims to establish baseline industry standards for transparency in methodologies and data sources, governance, and management of conflicts of interest that may compromise the reliability and independence of the products.

It also builds upon the International Organisation of Securities Commissions’ (IOSCO) recommendations for good practices for such providers. 

Respondents to the consultation have expressed strong support for the CoC the MAS said adding that users also agree that providers’ self-attestation on the Checklist should, where feasible, undergo third-party assurance or audit.

The MAS said it encourages providers to disclose their adoption of the CoC and publish their completed Checklist within 12 months from publication of the CoC.

To enable users to easily identify providers that have publicly adopted the CoC, MAS has worked with the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) to host a list of such Providers on ICMA’s website.

The MAS will continue to monitor developments in the industry and the global regulatory landscape when considering any further enhancements to the regulatory regime for such providers.

Lim Tuang Lee, Assistant Managing Director (Capital Markets), at the MAS, said: “The Code of Conduct will help build market confidence in the use of ESG rating and data products. Its baseline transparency standards for rating methodologies and data sources will improve the comparability of ratings and data products.”

“The Code also encourages disclosures on how forward-looking elements are considered in such products, which will improve investors’ assessments of investee entities’ responses to transition risks and opportunities. Overall, the Code will support informed decision-making by investors keen on funding the climate transition. We welcome adoption by ESG rating and data product providers as soon as they are ready.”