Curtis Tate Published

State Treasurer Warns 6 Banks They May Be Added To ‘Restricted’ List

A man wearing a dark gray suit and light purple tie stands at a podium with a marbled wall covered by red tapestry in the background
Treasurer Riley Moore
Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

West Virginia’s treasurer has warned a new set of banks they may be barred from engaging in contracts with the state.

Treasurer Riley Moore has sent letters to six financial institutions warning them their environmental, social and governance policies could cost them state contracts.

The restricted financial institutions list arose from Senate Bill 262, which became law in 2022.

Moore initially placed five banks on the list: BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.

Kentucky enacted a similar law the same year, though the Kentucky treasurer’s office has different banks on its list.

Through a Freedom of Information Act Request, the banks that received the new letters are: BMO Bank, Citibank, Fifth Third, Northern Trust, TD Bank and HSBC.

They have 45 days to prove they are not engaged in a boycott of fossil fuel companies, or they will be added to the list.

A report last year from the Sierra Club showed that four of the five banks originally on the West Virginia Treasurer’s list – Goldman Sachs, Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo – are among the top providers of financing to utility companies that burn coal.

Citibank and TD Bank are also among the companies supporting coal-burning utilities.

Three of the banks on the combined list – Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo – are among the top six providers of financing to coal-burning utilities.

The three banks have committed to align their financing with the Paris Agreement and the Net Zero Banking Alliance yet have injected billions of dollars into coal-consuming utilities since 2016.