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Christian Aid switches banks over fossil fuel concerns

28 Jul 2023 News

Christian Aid is to stop banking with Barclays, over concerns about the bank’s financing of fossil fuels, it has announced.

The international development charity’s board of trustees has approved a plan to transition to Lloyds over the “next few months”.

Its decision follows a review of Christian Aid’s banking arrangements last year and a competitive tender process, the charity said.

In a statement, the charity said a “global banking network is essential for Christian Aid to continue to support those people who are the hardest to reach”.

It added that moving to Lloyds meant that it “will continue to be able to transfer funds to high-risk countries such as Syria, Myanmar and Afghanistan, as we currently do with Barclays”.

“Whilst Barclays was able to provide banking services to fragile contexts, their record on fossil fuel finance, and their weak commitment to future improvements in this area meant that we had to seek a more suitable provider,” it said.

“Christian Aid has ambitious environmental commitments over the next few years, as set out in our recently launched environmental policy.”

National Trust

In a separate move also related to charities’ concerns about financing the fossil fuel sector, the National Trust has worked with Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) on a new investment fund.

The Legal & General Future World ESG Developed Fossil Fuel Exclusions Index aims to “provide an efficient, low-cost solution to enable investors to seek to reduce their exposure to fossil fuel companies and those particularly with high carbon emissions and reserves, facilitating the transition towards net zero whilst targeting long-term, sustainable returns”.

It is open to UK investors including charities and endowments, platforms and wealth managers.

A spokesperson for LGIM said that the strategy had been developed in “close collaboration” with the National Trust and that the charity is a seed investor in the fund.

Dabinder Hutchinson, director of finance at the National Trust, said: “As Europe’s largest conservation charity, the National Trust exists to protect nature, beauty and history for everyone, forever.

“Our environmental values are important in everything we do, including managing our investment portfolio – something that is crucial to ensuring we are able to generate vital funds to fulfil our charitable purpose.

“We are delighted that we have been able to collaborate with LGIM to co-create this new strategy with our required fossil fuel exclusions, and LGIM’s wider engagement programme with companies, to enable the development of more climate friendly investment portfolios to support the climate transition and our race against climate change.”

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