Insights

Westpac and other ASX 200 banks face renewed shareholder pressure over climate policies

Activist group slams big four banks for being full of hot air on climate goals…
The post Westpac and other ASX 200 banks face renewed shareholder pressure over climate policies appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is in the red on Friday. This comes as additional pressure is applied to the big four ASX 200 banks by climate activist group Market Forces.

At the time of writing, shares in $94 billion bank are down 0.3% to $25.93. For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is 0.83% higher on Friday.

In its latest campaign, Market Forces has lodged new resolutions for the upcoming annual general meetings of Westpac, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ), and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB). These resolutions seek to eliminate, or at least constrain, the expansion of fossil fuel lending among the ASX 200 banks.

Climate fight against Westpac and other ASX big banks heats up

Initiatives to tackles climate change at a boardroom level has become highly topical. Since the unveiling of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) damning report, a renewed thrust has come about to address the bellowing climate calamity in the room. One such group grabbing the big banks by the horns is Friends of the Earth affiliate, Market Forces.

Specifically, the resolutions lodged with ANZ, NAB, and ASX-listed Westpac call for an end to funding fossil fuel growth projects. This follows a year of increased lending to the coal, oil, and gas industry — despite the same banks committing to net zero emissions by 2050.

A report referenced by Market Forces, produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA), suggested the big four loaned as much as $8.9 billion to the fossil fuel industry in 2020. Remarkably, this represented an 18% increase in the amount loaned in 2019.

Inadvertently, Westpac and the other ASX big four constituents had enabled an additional 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2 production. Hence, activist groups like Market Forces believe the bank’s commitments are meaningless without addressing its lending.

Furthermore, Market Forces warned that uncapped lending to fossil fuel companies will result in emissions equal to 146 times Australia’s annual carbon footprint.

What about CBA?

For Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) shareholders, Market Forces announced tabled resolutions for the CBA annual general meeting back in August. At this stage, CBA is recommending shareholders vote against the resolution.

Commenting on the move, Australian campaigns coordinator Jack Bertolus stated:

Continued large-scale lending to fossil fuels is not only exposing these banks and their shareholders to increasing levels of climate risk, it’s also undermining our chances of getting the climate crisis under control.

Finally, according to the ASX, Westpac will hold its annual general meeting on 15 December 2021. Meanwhile, NAB will hold its AGM 2 days later on 17 December. To cap it off, ANZ will conduct its AGM in between these two on 16 December.

The post Westpac and other ASX 200 banks face renewed shareholder pressure over climate policies appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

Should you invest $1,000 in Westpac Banking Corp right now?

Before you consider Westpac Banking Corp, you’ll want to hear this.

Motley Fool Investing expert Scott Phillips just revealed what he believes are the 5 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Westpac Banking Corp wasn’t one of them.

The online investing service he’s run for nearly a decade, Motley Fool Share Advisor, has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.* And right now, Scott thinks there are 5 stocks that are better buys.

*Returns as of August 16th 2021

More reading

ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: EML crashes, mining shares rise

ANZ (ASX:ANZ) share price flat despite BNPL plans
What to expect from the ANZ (ASX:ANZ) FY 2021 result this month
How did the Westpac (ASX:WBC) share price perform in the last quarter?
What happened for the ANZ share price in the FY22 first quarter?

Motley Fool contributor Mitchell Lawler has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

Trade The World Anywhere & Anytime!

Mobile app platform with over 50,000 global listed securities across 12 markets (over 70% global market capitalisation), right from your Android or iOS device.

Integrated with exclusive trading idea and investment analysis tools to help you find actionable insight on virtually every financial instrument across our 12 global markets, to help you optimise your trading strategies.

Refer Your Friends

Tell your friends about Monex and gift them FREE access to our trading tools.

We respect your privacy and will only send this one email notification to your friends. 

Share With Your Friends

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Monex Trading Tools Access and Usage Terms

The Monex Trading Tools (referred to as ‘tools’ hereafter) are available to you inside your client portal;


To activate access to the tools, you must have a verified and approved trading account and have made a deposit of at least AUD $1000.


An active and funded account with a positive trading balance is required to continue to have access to the tools;


Although the tools are available to you indefinitely, Monex Securities may at it’s discretion disable access to the tools in the future;


Monex securities reserves the right to change these terms and conditions from time to time, as it sees fit, without notice.

Important Notice
iOS & Android App - 12 International Markets & Over 70% Global Market Cap. $0 Brokerage On US Trades. Click Here!