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Asset managers fear exaggerated claims over sustainability-focused investments could become a mis-selling scandal across the industry after regulators on both sides of the Atlantic sharpened their focus on environmental, social and governance investing at Germany’s DWS.
Investigations by regulators in Germany and US, triggered by allegations made by DWS’s former global head of sustainability, have put greenwashing — unjustified claims about environmental practices — centre stage for Europe’s investment industry.
Rival fund houses now fear they also could come under scrutiny over claims of sustainability, which is hard to measure and varies greatly from one fund to the next.
“The definition of what ESG or responsible investment truly is has been up for debate ever since it was created,” said Sébastien Thevoux-Chabuel, a…