Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.

 

Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.

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EU group invites feedback on sustainable finance

The Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG) set up by the European Commission has requested feedback on the development of an EU-wide classification system for environmentally sustainable economic activities

A unified taxonomy would make it possible to determine which investments, which include loans,stocks and bonds are environmentally sustainable, making it easier for market participants to finance these activities and limiting the risk of greenwashing.

Sandrine Dixson-Decleve, Advisory Council member of EIT Climate-KIC, and member of the TEG stated, “More private capital flows need to be oriented towards sustainable investments to close the $231bn gap of additional investments needed to meet the EU’s 2030 targets and 2050 long-term strategy to meet Paris Agreement objectives.”

The taxonomy will lay the foundation for all other measures on sustainable finance. It will help investors, including individuals, invest their money in line with their sustainability preferences and build momentum for climate-friendly investments.

Dixson-Decleve went on to state, “Currently, no common understanding exists. This hampers sustainable investments and increases the risks of ‘greenwashing’, which is the practice of marketing financial products as ‘green’ or more generally ‘sustainable’, when in fact they do not meet the basic environmental standards.”

The ultimate goal remains to develop a system that provides businesses and investors with clarity on which activities are considered sustainable and have the greatest climate mitigation opportunities, so that they take more informed decisions.

A number of workshops to gather technical expertise from interested parties is also envisaged by the Commission.

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