West Virginia Bans 4 More Banks For ESG Policies

The state of West Virginia has banned four more banks from holding contracts with the state due to their left-wing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies.

Riley Moore, treasurer of the Mountain State, recently prohibited contracts to be held with Citibank, TD Bank, Northern Trust and HSBC Holdings due to the financial institutions’ woke policies and fossil fuels boycotts. The move comes after the banks were warned of repercussions in February.

The institutions have joined a growing list of companies forbidden to conduct business with the state of West Virginia, including BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo. An $18 billion loss in access to “inflows and outflows” per year has been estimated to have occurred since these banks were banned.

According to Moore, the “tremendous loss” is one which he hopes will inspire additional action to be initiated by other states, working to crack down on left-wing banking policies across the country. The treasurer reportedly contacted six different financial institutions earlier this year, informing them that they would end up on West Virginia’s restricted list within 45 days unless they proved to him that they were not boycotting fossil fuel companies.

BMO Bank and Fifth Third Bank complied with Moore’s request, adjusting their policies to align with the state’s requirements, a move which the treasurer called “quite a bit of a success story.” He added that this approach to ensuring “banks [will] act like banks” is the way to “win” in the ongoing effort of “keeping the free market free.”

Moore has defended his decision to add four more banks to the restricted institutions list by explaining that “fossil fuels are the lifeblood of West Virginia.” He added that the move was simply presenting the banks with a choice to either boycott the critical market or do business in the state.

Previously, the treasurer has spoken out about the risks of ESG, which has become the controlling factor for financial institutions when dealing with stock purchases and investments. He has pointed out that ESG policies claim that environmental controversies like fossil fuels are causing irreparable damage to the climate instead of producing necessary and effective power to society.

Moore further explained in a 2023 video for the Foundation for Government Accountability that banks have implemented ESG scores that “downgrade securities” in various companies. This can also result in certain institutions refusing to lend money to fossil fuel organizations, which Moore described as being “outright economic extortion” in some cases.