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  • hammaad saghir

Over a Third of Brits Open to Discontinuing Relationships with Banks Investing in High-Carbon Firms

A startling statistic has revealed that more than one-third of Brits would withdraw their money from financial institutions that back companies with high-carbon footprints.

YouGov polling that was commissioned by ShareAction has revealed that nearly 40 per cent of Britons have stated that they would be likely to switch banks if they discovered their bank was investing in firms that use a big amount of fossil fuels.

Research among two thousand British adults showed that if they discovered their financial institution invested in companies not meeting labour and human rights regulations, more than half would be likely to switch banks.

Conversely, 33% of respondents reported that they would be more likely to stay with their current bank if it was committing to capital investments in businesses taking steps to reach net zero emissions.

The survey revealed that the British public was interested in understanding where banks, pension schemes, and insurance companies allocated their money. Even though a majority of respondents (52%) expressed a desire to receive more details about the investments of their financial institutions, the vast majority (83%) admitted to knowing little or nothing about the destination of their money.

The survey also showed that the majority of Britons, at 74%, would have an unfavourable opinion of their financial institution if they discovered their funds were invested in organisations that did not abide by human and labour rights. Furthermore, almost three-quarters of the people wanted the same or increased emphasis on the social and environmental effects of investments when compared to the financial returns.

Nearly 70 per cent of participants surveyed stated that investing in businesses that partake in deforestation or other activities detrimental to the environment would have a negative effect on their view of a bank, pension plan, or insurance provider.

The leader of the banking system at ShareAction, Jeanne Martin, dubbed the results a "wake-up call" for the financial industry and implored corporations to move towards more responsible investing strategies that satisfy their patrons.

She emphasized that the populace has an unwavering sense of right and wrong regarding what their funds are being used for. Banks should pay heed to the fact that people are ready to break ties with those establishments that do not align with their ideals.

Banks must take action and use their power as financiers to discourage companies from engaging in activities that infringe on human rights, destroy vital ecosystems, and intensify the climate emergency.

For progress to be made, financial institutions must pledge to stop funding organizations that keep growing their oil and gas production. Doing this is an urgent necessity if the world is to stay under the 1.5C global temperature rise.

ShareAction is asking banks to be accountable for the carbon released during the bond transactions they help with.

The Banking on Climate Chaos report has revealed that the top 60 banks worldwide contributed $150bn in 2022 to the top 100 companies that are enlarging their fossil fuel output, not taking into account the International Energy Agency's caution that the 1.5C global warming goal will not be achieved if new oil and gas projects are initiated.

Bank Green reported that the top 60 private-sector banks invested $5.5 trillion into fossil fuels in the seven years after the Paris Agreement was signed.


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