ESG Credit Quarterly: 1Q20

Mon 20 Apr, 2020 - 12:33 PM ET

Since Fitch Ratings launched ESG relevance scores (ESG.RS) in early 2019, 2.1% of corporates and 1.7% of financial institutions have seen an increase in impact on credit ratings from ESG factors, from no or low impact. Governance scores for entities had the greatest frequency of increases, consistent with Fitch’s initial findings that governance factors most frequently affect credit ratings. Events such as operational disruptions, litigation and regulatory investigations have been frequent drivers of environmental and social relevance score changes. ESG.RS changes driven by extreme weather events have been rare despite the continued rise in the frequency of such events. This reflects in part how affected sectors, such as non-life insurers and utilities, have managed their exposure to physical-environmental impacts. Extreme weather events may have broader credit implications if they affect public and political opinion on climate policy.

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