Inclusion Could Make Firms Ineligible for State Banking Contracts
State Treasurer Riley Moore today announced he has sent notices to six financial institutions informing them they could be placed on the state’s Restricted Financial Institution List after his Office made an initial determination that the institutions appear to be engaged in boycotts of fossil fuel companies.
“Earlier this year our Office proposed, and the Legislature passed, Senate Bill 262 to push back against unfair discrimination against our coal, oil and natural gas industries by the financial sector as part of the so-called ‘environmental, social and governance’ or ‘ESG’ investing movement,” Treasurer Moore said. “We’ve now demonstrated we are serious about enforcing this law.”
Senate Bill 262 authorizes the Treasurer’s Office to create a “Restricted Financial Institution List” consisting of financial institutions that have publicly stated they will refuse, terminate or limit doing business with coal, oil or natural gas companies without a reasonable business purpose.
The Treasurer may exclude banks on the list from eligibility for contracts for state banking services, ensuring that financial institutions are not entrusted with the state revenue and taxpayer dollars they are attempting to diminish.
As part of this initial evaluation process, the Office reviewed publicly available statements from financial institutions that could potentially do business with the Treasurer’s Office through existing banking contract authority. Senate Bill 262 also authorizes the Treasurer to require financial institutions to certify they will not engage in a boycott of energy companies in order to bid on or secure a future banking contract with the Office.
Notices were issued on Friday, June 10. The financial institutions that have been sent notices will officially be placed on the list in 45 days, unless they respond with information demonstrating they are not engaged in a boycott of fossil fuel companies. The institutions have 30 days from the time they receive the initial notice to submit a response to the Treasurer’s Office.