Today, Thursday 18th of March, the EACB together with Accountancy Europe organised the webinar “Bridging expectations: what NFI from SMEs?”. The online event which was a success gathered more than 100 participants. Moderated by Luc Hendrickx, Director of SME United, speakers debated how new rules on reporting non-financial information (NFI) might affect small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Representing the EACB in the EFRAG PTF on non-financial reporting standards, Kristiina Vares-Wartiovaara, ESG Specialist of OP Financial Group, highlighted the importance of availability of information and standardization of reporting. She highlighted that the standard will include the specificities of financial institution as one of the 5 building blocks of the proposed standard. She specified that it tries to solve at the same time the issue on how to get the information and address the indirect impact that SMEs will face. For SMEs, following the ESG Specialist, it is foreseen to consider an enabling approach, not only a simplified version of the main standard.
Hilde Blomme, Deputy CEO of Accountancy Europe, underlined the opportunity in this process to identify risks and opportunities for SMEs to proceed with the sustainable transition. In this regard, Accountancy Europe will publish in April a sustainability checklist for SMEs.
On the institutional side, Malgorzata Feluch, Policy Officer at DG FISMA in the European Commission, is considering the use of proxies of estimations to help financial market participants in assessing their exposure to SMEs involved in their supply chain in this early stage. She pointed out that in order to increase access to information, they should be reported according to a common and digitalized standard and be digitalized.
Ivan Stefanec, MEP (EPP/Slovakia), stressed the importance of SMEs in the European economy and therefore, the need to a coherent framework. The Eurodeputy emphasized that European banks still represent the key finance providers for SMEs, playing an important role in helping SMEs in achieving their own sustainable transition.
Link to the co-organizer partner: