News in brief - 23 September 2022

Eight pension providers have achieved ‘overall gold’ awards for their workplace pension and auto enrolment offering.

Benefits Guru, in their annual workplace pensions and auto-enrolment ratings, revealed Aviva, Royal London, Aegon, Scottish Widows, Fidelity, Mercer, Legal & General, and Standard Life achieved “overall gold” awards in the 2022 ratings across multiple products offerings, and 10 out of 11 providers achieved “overall gold” awards for their auto-enrolment propositions. The annual ratings are designed to assist advisers, providers and employers in their decision-making process and based on a data set and in-depth analysis of over 10,000 data points.

HSBC Asset Management has announced plans to phase out thermal coal investments

The company announced it will actively work with company boards to support the transition away from thermal coals in the EU and OECD markets by 2030 and globally by 2040. Those who do not show credible plans to transition away from thermal coal within the time frame will lose the support of HSBC AM, including voting against company chairs at AGMs or, ultimately, divesting. The announcement was highlighted as an "important step" towards the bank achieving its ambition to align its financed emissions to net zero by 2050.

Homes England and Newstead Capital have launched a new lending fund to provide residential development finance for small and medium-sized (SME) housebuilders

According to the founding companies, it will be the “first ever fund” to allow institutional investors to provide debt via private markets to SME housebuilders. Homes England partnered with Greater Manchester Pension Fund, clients of Mattioli Woods and other private institutional investors on the fund, collectively committing £80m to the initial close of the Newstead SME Real Estate Lending Fund (RELF).The fund hopes to accelerate change in the housing market by bringing in new sources of institutional capital and diversifying lending channels to the SME housebuilding sector.

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