Britain's finance ministry said on Wednesday it will introduce regulation for providers of environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings on companies to improve "clarity and trust" in benchmarks widely used to steer investments.

The ministry was following up on its public consultation last year, and since then a voluntary industry code of conduct has been introduced as a stop gap for the unregulated ratings activity.

"A full consultation response and legislative steps will follow later this year," the ministry said in a statement.

(Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Marc Jones)