BlackRock case: Brussels must review its management of conflicts of interest

Posted on Nov 25, 2020 at 10:15 a.m.Updated Nov 25, 2020 11:44 AM

The case could become a landmark in public procurement law. The European Union (EU) ombudsperson is challenging the Commission ‘s methods in a tender won by BlackRock in the spring. The decision was released on Wednesday. “Citizens should be sure that contracts involving EU funds are awarded only after a thorough review process. The current rules do not offer this guarantee ”, says mediator Emily O’Reilly, responsible for overseeing the European institutions.

Its investigation concludes that “BlackRock has optimized its chances of obtaining the contract by making an exceptionally low financial offer (280,000 euros, editor’s note), which could be seen as an attempt to exert influence on an area of ​​investment relevant to its clients.” Namely sustainable finance, set up as a new priority for the American group. The study commissioned by the EU focuses on the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into the supervision, strategy and commercial policies of European banks. The mediator opened an investigation after complaints from two MEPs and the NGO Change Finance.

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