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Banks Rush To Assure Texas They Like Oil And Gas

More than two dozen banks and other financial firms have declared themselves as non-hostile to the Texas energy industry after the state went after the financial industry threatening to shut off its access to the Texas financial system.

In March, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hager asked 19 financial companies, including the world’s biggest asset manager and some of the top U.S. banks, whether they are boycotting the fossil fuel industry as America’s largest oil-producing state seeks to clarify the financial institutions’ fossil fuel investment policies and procedures.

“A company that fails to provide clarification 60 days after receiving this letter will be presumed to be boycotting energy companies,” Hager said.

It seems the financial firms have wasted no time in responding to the letter, with more than 20 of them doing so before the deadline given them by the Texas Comptroller, Bloomberg reported, citing their responses.

One small asset manager based in Dallas actually responded with “Hell no”, the report said.

The other companies targeted by the Texas authorities include BlackRock, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and HSBC.

“We would like to note at the outset that we provide financial products and services to many companies that engage in the exploration, production, utilization, transportation, sale, or manufacturing of fossil fuel-based energy (“energy companies”), and intend to do so in the future,” wrote JP Morgan executive vice president and general counsel Stacey Friedman, as quoted by Bloomberg.

HSBC wrote that it “does not consider itself to be a company which ‘boycotts’ financing of energy companies,” and proceeded to explain that “HSBC believes it can have the biggest impact on climate action by actively engaging with its clients on their transition, focusing on the need for robust and credible transition plans, and by providing the financing and advisory solutions that help unlock the investments needed.” 

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on May 20 2022 said:
    The raison d’etre of banks is to make money. Nevertheless, some of them have been distancing themselves from investing in or lending money to the global oil industry under incessant pressure from the environmental activists.

    But when taken to task by the Texas Comptroller who threatened to shut them off access to the Texas financial system, they immediately declared their loyalty to the industry saying that they also intend to continue to do so in the future.

    After all, the global oil industry which is the most profitable industry in the world keeps the wheels of the global economy turning and the banks solvent.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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