With the heightened focus on ESG, stewardship and sustainability in the last three years the discussion surrounding the compatibility of securities lending with responsible investment principles is an important one taking place.
As Deloitte note in their opening paragraph: “It is commonly accepted in the financial academic literature that securities lending has an essential role in maintaining healthy and well-functioning capital markets while providing a large number of benefits to asset owners. However, as securities lending is often linked with short selling, its use by funds promoting an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) approach or responsible investment may be questioned. The objective of this paper is to summarise the views from public studies, academic research, regulatory texts and good practices on how securities lending can be compliant with a responsible investment strategy.”
A worthy read to inform your thoughts on this subject.