Stockholm (NordSIP) – In line with recent concerns regarding the fact that funds need to be better aligned with the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosures Regulation (SFDR), Storebrand has decided to reclassify six of its funds as Article 9 according to the regulation.
The decision affects the €6.5 billion worth of assets under management, as of October 31st, including the Storebrand Global ESG Plus fund (€1.1 billion), the Storebrand Sverige Plus fund (SEK8.8 billion), the Storebrand Global Plus fund (SEK29.6 billion), the Storebrand Europa Plus fund (SEK971 million), the Storebrand USA Plus fund(SEK4.9 billion) and the Storebrand Sverige Småbolag Plus fund (SEK1.1 billion).
The downgrade of the funds was not motivated by any changes in the funds themselves but rather by the fact that from the start of 2023 onwards, the requirements for funds to be marketed as sustainable within the EU will tighten.
“Uncertainty is still great whether a reduced carbon footprint as a goal can be included in having one hundred percent sustainability as a goal. We have therefore chosen a precautionary principle and are recategorizing a number of funds. The funds still aim to reduce the carbon footprint over time and perform significantly better than the index and other internal index-related funds.”
The decision follows similar moves by Amundi and UBS earlier in the year. On November 7th, UBS Asset Management announced it would downgrade its entire Article 9 Paris-aligned benchmark (PAB) and climate transition benchmark (CTB) ETF ranges, which it manages together with BlackRock. Amundi revealed on November 22nd that it would reclassify “almost all” of its funds from Article 9 down to Article 8, including €19 billion in 29 Paris-Aligned Benchmark and Climate Transition Benchmark ETFs.
These approaches stand in contrast to Danske Bank and Handelsbanken which NordSIP understands will hold on to their present classification for the time being.