15 December 2023

On 6 December 2023, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) issued its finalised Singapore Code of Conduct for ESG Rating and Data Product Providers (“CoC”) and an accompanying checklist for providers to self-attest their compliance with the CoC (“Checklist”). MAS also published its response to feedback received on its public consultation on the CoC and Checklist (“Response”).

The voluntary industry 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 ESG products. It builds upon the International Organization of Securities Commissions’ recommendations for good practices for providers of such products.

MAS will proceed with a “comply or explain” approach for ESG rating and data product providers (“Providers”) to adopt the CoC. This also applies to the Checklist which guides Providers in attesting their adoption of the CoC. MAS states that it will leave the decision to Providers should they wish to conduct third-party assurances of their attestations on a voluntary basis.

Providers are encouraged to disclose their adoption of the CoC and publish their completed Checklist within 12 months from publication of the CoC. Statements on adoption of the CoC should be published on the Providers’ websites, substantiated with a completed Checklist. To manage the expectations of users of ESG rating and data products (“Users”), Providers who require more time to adopt and provide self-attestation should publicly inform market participants of the additional time they require or provide interim compliance statements on their adoption.

A list of Providers which have publicly adopted the CoC will be hosted on the International Capital Market Association (“ICMA”) website to enable Users to easily identify such Providers. Providers should inform ICMA when they have publicly published their Checklists in adoption of the CoC.

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

By way of background, MAS conducted a public consultation on a proposed CoC from 28 June 2023 to 22 August 2023. MAS published its Response to feedback received from the consultation on 6 December 2023.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the MAS website www.mas.gov.sg: