The international organization Rainforest Action Network along with other organizations have done extensive research to determine how much banks around the world are financing the fossil-fuel industry, and have produced this report that shows that 3 of Canada’s Big 5 Banks are among the top 12 banks worldwide financing the fossil fuel industry from 2016-2020, and the other two are in the top 25 banks worldwide:
These international groups had great difficulty obtaining the information they gathered. The information also doesn’t include other Canadian financial institutions, such as insurance companies and mutual fund companies, that support the industry, nor does it cover other major industries that create the pollution that is causing the climate crisis.
Canada’s Big Banks and other financial institutions wouldn’t exist without Canadians’ money, but they are allowed to keep this information secret, and most other information about how they use your money.
Canada’s Big Banks and other financial institutions are also not required to lend and invest in sustainable businesses that will create long-term jobs that don’t pollute or harm Canadians and their communities.
I call on you to make the following 3 key changes would solve these problems, and empower financial consumers and investors to ensure their money is used to support sustainable, job-creating businesses:
- Require by law that banks, insurance and trust companies disclose their lending, investments and insurance quarterly for the fossil fuel industry, and all other major carbon-producing industries (coal, heavy manufacturing), by company (so the public can easily find out the actual, ongoing level of loans and investments for each financial institution) as recommended by the international Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD – see details here: https://www.fsb-tcfd.org/recommendations/);
- Add the Equator Principles – https://equator-principles.com/about/ – and other real sustainability rules to Canada’s federal financial industry laws and Ontario laws to require banks and other financial institutions to lend, invest and provide insurance only to actually sustainable big businesses in Canada and worldwide;
- Establish a Financial Consumer Organization (FCO) using this innovative method that has been proven effective in the U.S.: https://democracywatch.ca/question-and-answers-about-the-proposed-financial-consumer-organization and an Individual Investor Organization (IIO) using the same method: https://democracywatch.ca/question-and-answers-about-individual-investor-organization-iio, which together will exponentially increase the information available to financial institution customers and individual investors about how financial institutions use and invest their money, and will also exponentially increase the power of, and funding for, financial consumers and individual investors to have a say in the use of their money, and to push for actually responsible, actually sustainable investing.
Please let me know what you will do to ensure that these changes are made as soon as possible.
I will be deciding which political party to vote for in the next election based on the responses I receive from representatives in each party. I look forward to hearing from you.