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EU considered tightening the law after investigation into BlackRock contract According to Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The BlackRock logo is seen outside its New York offices

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said it would consider forcing companies to disclose conflicting interests when they bid on EU-sponsored contracts, following an investigation of the designation of a division. by BlackRock (NYSE 🙂 to help develop green banking rules.

The European Union’s watchdog approved the Commission in November for appointing BlackRock’s Financial Market Advisory (FMA) unit, the world’s largest asset manager, to conduct a research study. informs the EU of its plan to integrate sustainability into banking safety rules.

European Inspector Emily O’Reilly (NASDAQ 🙂 did not ask the Commission to cancel the contract, but said they should take a closer look at BlackRock’s motivations in bidding, pricing strategy and its own measures to prevent conflicts of interest.

In a response published on Monday, the Commission said it would consider a proposal to amend EU law to require companies and organizations to disclose conflicting interests when they bid on EU-funded contracts. support.

It will also consider providing additional guidance to assist public procurement solvers.

“The committee is reflecting on possible clarifications as to the procedure to be followed when a professionally conflicting interest could be threatened during an procurement proceeding,” it said.

The Ombudsman welcomes the response from EU regulators, which they think reflects their own proposals. The Ombudsman will track the proposed changes, it said.

BlackRock did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

BlackRock beat out eight other bidders with an offer worth € 280,000 – almost half the estimated value of the EU contract. The asset manager says they will ensure the FMA’s “physical separation” to ensure information doesn’t flow to other parts of their business.

Any changes to EU financial regulations will need to be approved by the member states and the European Parliament. The committee will propose a regulatory update by year end.

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