A BlackRock contract with Brussels on the radar

The European Union ombudsperson will investigate a Commission call for tenders won by BlackRock in April for the drafting of a report on the integration of ESG criteria into banking supervision. MEPs and an NGO are worried about potential conflicts of interest and accuse the American manager of having sold off his services.

BlackRock won a call for tenders from the Commission for the drafting of a report on the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into the European banking supervision framework.  A contract that is controversial.

Responsible finance has rarely been so controversial. The European Union’s mediator, Emily O’Reilly, decided earlier this week to deepen her investigation into a European Commission contract awarded to BlackRock. Two MEPs, the Portuguese Marisa Matias, from the left bloc, and the French Damien Carême, from Europe Ecology, as well as the NGO Change Finance, asked him to look into the issue of preventing conflicts of interest.

The world’s largest asset manager, with more than $ 6.8 trillion in assets at the end of June, won a call for tenders from the Commission last April for a report on integration environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria within the European banking supervision framework. MEPs and the NGO point to the stakes held by funds managed by BlackRock in many European banks and are concerned about the positions of the American manager on sustainable finance. After being criticized for a long time for its lack of commitments in favor of the climate, BlackRock made a “green” turn at the start of the year.