CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Treasurer Riley Moore announced that he has sent notices to six financial institutions advising them that they may be placed on the United States Restricted Financial Institutions List. state after his office initially determined that the institutions appeared to be engaged in boycotting fossil fuel companies.
“Earlier this year, our Office proposed, and the Legislature passed, Senate Bill 262 to push back against unjust 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’ investment movement,” Treasurer Moore said. “We have now demonstrated that we are serious about enforcing this law. “
Senate Bill 262 authorizes the Treasurer’s Office to create a “Restricted Financial Institutions List” of financial institutions that have publicly stated that they will refuse, terminate, or limit business relationships with coal companies, petroleum or natural gas without a reasonable business purpose.
The Treasurer can exclude banks on the list from eligibility for state banking contracts, ensuring that financial institutions are not entrusted with the state revenues and taxpayers’ money they attempt to decrease.
As part of this initial assessment process, the Office reviewed public statements from financial institutions that may do business with the Office of the Treasurer through existing banking contracting authority. Senate Bill 262 also authorizes the Treasurer to require financial institutions to certify that they will not engage in a boycott of energy companies in order to bid or secure a future banking contract with the Board.
Notices were posted on Friday, June 10. Financial institutions that have received notices will be officially added to the list in 45 days, unless they respond with information demonstrating that they are not engaged in a boycott of fossil fuel companies. Institutions have 30 days from receipt of the initial notice to submit a response to the Treasury.