SEC mulling additional ‘green' fund disclosures, crypto regulations – Gensler

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The Securities and Exchange Commission is weighing additional disclosures for “green” fund managers and more stringent cryptocurrency regulations, according to Chairman Gary Gensler.

Mr. Gensler has asked staff for recommendations about whether a fund manager should disclose the criteria underlying how it brands itself as “green,” “sustainable,” or “low-carbon,” he said Wednesday in a virtual speech before the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

The SEC is also working on a rule to mandate that public companies disclose climate-related risk, Mr. Gensler noted.

“In both cases, we’re looking at qualitative as well as quantitative disclosures,” he said. “We’ll put it out to consultations hopefully later this year and early next year and then we’ll hear from the public on the economics and on what works best.”

With respect to cryptocurrency, Mr. Gensler reiterated a sentiment he made during a speech last month in which he said more needs to be done to regulate the asset class. “While I’m technology-neutral, I am anything but public policy-neutral,” he said. “As new technologies come along, we need to be sure they’re achieving our core public policy goals.”

The SEC is focused on cryptocurrency trading and lending platforms, which provide direct access to millions of investors, Mr. Gensler said. But because there’s no broker in between the public and the platform, the investing public is left vulnerable, he added. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen a lot of fraud, scams and abuse in the field,” Mr. Gensler said.