The selection of BlackRock to advise on integrating sustainability into European banking regulations is to be scrutinised by a European Union watchdog following criticism from MEPs and campaigners.
The MEPS have questioned the impartiality of the world's largest asset manager given its investments already in the sector.
BlackRock was selected in April by the European Commission, but the European Ombudsman is now investigating whether the bloc's executive branch fully assessed the risks of conflict of interest in its decision, according to the FT.
Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly said in a letter to commission president Ursula von der Leyen that she would be looking into whether the EC properly followed procedures regarding "the evaluation of any conflicts of interest and the measures to prevent any such conflicts."
It follows complaints filed by MEPs Damien Carême and Marisa Matias, and NGO network Change Finance, who voiced concerns about "the adequacy of the measures presented by BlackRock" to prevent conflicts of interest and the capacity of the commission "to monitor the effectiveness of these measures."
The European Ombudsman does not have the power to overturn the selection, however should it come to a negative conclusion on the decision it would pile further pressure on the EC, which is under fire from almost 80 MEPs who have submitted questions about the mandate since April.