is your bank funding climate change?

350 Aotearoa Banks Table 2021

Our major banks in Aotearoa are playing a critical role in keeping the fossil fuel industry afloat by lending and investing billions of our savings in coal, oil and gas companies that have knowingly caused the climate crisis.

Find out if your bank is supporting climate criminals, and switch to a Fossil Free bank!

Click here for a downloadable pdf version of our 2021 Banks Table.

Amplify your impact

Do you want to support this campaign further? Here are some actions you can take.

Email your ex-bank to tell them why you left

If you do decide to switch banks, amplify your impact by letting your previous bank know why you are leaving. Here’s an email template that you can use as a guide, feel free to incorporate as little or as much of it as you’d like.

Kia ora,

I am contacting to inform [BANK], as a [long-time/lifelong/regular] customer, that I will no longer be banking with your company.

I do not consent to my money being used to invest in, or lend to, fossil fuel-related companies. Although I am aware of your responsible investing policy, it is still not enough to be supporting companies that earn any of their revenue from the exploration or extraction of oil & gas or thermal coal. During this global climate emergency, it is no longer acceptable that any business, especially large corporations such as [BANK], support industries that are directly contributing to the degradation of our precious and only home in any way.

I hope that in the near future, [BANK] is able to:

  • completely divest from fossil fuels
  • explicitly rule out investing and lending to fossil fuel companies
  • withhold business banking services from fossil fuel companies

Until that time, I chose to take my savings elsewhere.

Ngā mihi,
[YOUR NAME]

Call up a bank

Calling banks to let them know that their policies are not acceptable is an effective way for consumers to put the pressure on. Below is a call script that you can use as a guide.

If you want to be specific, you can replace $[TOTAL LENDING] and $[EXPANSIONARY PROJECTS] numbers in the script with the following, depending on the bank you are calling:

TOTAL LENDING EXPANSIONARY PROJECTS
ASB $14 billion AUD $3 billion AUD
ANZ $14 billion AUD $2.4 billion AUD
BNZ $9.5 billion AUD $1.5 billion AUD
Westpac $6.7 billion AUD $861 million AUD

Source: https://www.marketforces.org.au/campaigns/banks/bigfourscorecard/ [as at 14 February 2022]

Hello, my name is [NAME] and I am calling because I believe that New Zealanders need to have a bank we can trust – a Fossil Free Bank – that guarantees, through investment and lending policies, a complete cut of corporate ties with the fossil fuel industry.

Since 2016, [BANK] contributed $[TOTAL LENDING] to fossil fuel lending globally, including $[EXPANSIONARY PROJECTS] in expansionary projects.

In contrast TSB, The Co-operative bank, and Kiwibank do not currently invest in, or loan money to, fossil fuel projects. I acknowledge that [BANK] has cleaned up their act somewhat in the last few years – but to be on par with these banks it needs to do better. And [BANK] should go even further – they should commit to a policy guaranteeing they divest from the fossil fuel industry and never loan to fossil fuel projects (including refinancing existing loans), so that it can proudly Go Fossil Free!

We cannot afford to keep bankrolling an industry who are actively fuelling the climate crisis. Our savings need to go towards a safe and fair future, built on 100% renewable energy for all.

That’s why I am calling today – to urge you to send the message up the line to your managers that the [BANK] needs to Go Fossil Free! It’s a positive opportunity that New Zealanders – your customers – support. It’s in your best interest and ours.

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ADD YOUR NAME

Demand the Big Four Banks go fossil free

Our major banks in Aotearoa - ANZ, ASB, BNZ, and Westpac - are playing a critical role in keeping the fossil fuel industry afloat by lending and investing billions of our savings in coal, oil and gas companies that have knowingly caused the climate crisis.
Despite these banks making commitments in support transitioning to a low-carbon economy in line with the Paris Agreement, they have collectively loaned AUD $35.5 billion to the dirty coal, oil and gas industry since 2016. 

We've successfully pushed Kiwibank to cut all ties with coal, oil, and gas companies, and commit to never do business with climate criminals. It's time to demand our other major banks do the same.

Let's use our collective power to call on our banks to go fossil free!

To the boards and executive teams at the ANZ, Westpac, ASB (and its parent company Commonwealth Bank), and BNZ (and its parent company National Australia Bank),

We demand that you deliver on your commitments to keep global warming below two degrees and cut all ties with coal, oil, and gas companies that have knowingly caused the climate crisis. 

As banks that claim to be committed to climate action and sustainability, you need to rule out any future lending or investment in coal, oil, and gas companies, and announce plans to rapidly phase out finance to fossil fuel companies and projects. This is the only way you can deliver on your climate commitments to ensure a safe climate future.

We cannot afford to keep bankrolling an industry that is actively fueling the climate crisis. Our savings need to go towards a safe and fair future, built on 100% renewable energy for all.

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After years of people-powered pressure from our 350 Aotearoa community, Kiwibank has officially cut ties with coal, oil and gas – making it Aotearoa’s first Fossil Free Bank!

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Our criteria for being a fossil free bank

Some banks may state on their websites (try looking for a page called “responsible investment” or “ethical investment policy”) that they try to avoid or minimise investing in fossil fuel companies. We really appreciate this transparency – but that is not enough. Currently, Co-operative Bank and TSB Bank do not invest in or loan to fossil fuel companies, and many of the Australian-owned banks state that they are not investing companies actively involved in the oil and gas or coal sectors. However, for these banks to commit to full divestment from fossil fuels, they need to implement a policy that rules out any future investment in, or lending to fossil fuel companies. These banks need to make an ethical commitment to rule out investments or lending to fossil fuel companies in a public statement and policy.

Note on subsidiaries of Australian banking groups

Some of the banks assessed in our “Does your bank fund climate change” table are subsidiary companies of Australian banking groups. The table assesses the financial activities and policies of each banking group, rather than the subsidiary companies. This is because current policies, investments, and lending practices are managed at a group level, i.e. by their parent Australian bank.

In our table, however, the banks are primarily referred to by the operating name in Aotearoa as the intended audience for this report is New Zealanders. These are the names of the NZ operating names, and their respective Australian banking groups that they are part of:

  • ANZ – Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
  • ASB – the New Zealand subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • BNZ – the New Zealand subsidiary of National Australian Bank
  • Westpac – Westpac Banking Corporation

Unlike the above, Kiwibank’s corporate responsibility policies (including its Responsible Banking Policy) happen at the company level. Sibling companies like Kiwi Wealth (Kiwisaver fund) have separate responsible investment policies that are not fossil free.

We assessed each of the banks on:

  • How much each bank lent to the fossil fuel industry globally
  • How much each bank lent to expansionary fossil fuel projects
  • How much each bank lent to the fossil fuel industry in Aotearoa
  • How much each bank exposed to clean technology
  • How much each bank exposed to the renewable energy sector
  • The integrity of each bank’s climate change statement and sustainability report

Read our 2018 report: ‘Bankrolling the Climate Crisis’

Check out the report that relaunched our banks campaign back in 2018. ‘Bankrolling the Climate Crisis’ exposed the relationship between the fossil fuel industry and our banks operating in Aotearoa.

Please note that the tables in the report are out of date. Please see our 2020 Banks Table for the most up to date information on our banks’ investments in and lending to coal, oil and gas companies.

Download the full 2018 Report

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