“The group is currently the largest retail bank in the United Kingdom with over 30 million customers” – BankTrack
Lloyds have a Sustainability Committee and Responsible Business Committee, these focus on assessing and minimising the risks associated with climate change. The Group-wide credit risk principles require all credit risk to be incurred with due regard to environmental legislation and the Group’s code of responsibility. As of 2018, Lloyds are not financing any new coal-fired power stations or thermal coal mines, but continue to finance their old ones on the provision that existing clients demonstrate monitory of greenhouse gas emissions and encourage them to transition to a low carbon economy.
Lloyds provide financing to RWE, a German company that is the Europe’s biggest single emitter of CO2 (BankTrack). In the period 2014-2017 Lloyds provided a corporate loan of USD 12 million as well as underwriting a share and bond issuance of USD 269 million. The expansion of the company’s Hambach mine has already resulted in the resettlement of a number of villages and it is likely that more will be resettled in the future. This expansion also threatens the 12,000 year old Hambacher forest which is home to some rare animals protected under EU law.
In the past Lloyds provided funding to other types of unethical investments. Between 2005 and 2013 Lloyds provided a corporate loan of EUR 57.2 million and was the shares/bond underwriter to the tune of EUR 40.4 million for Anglo American. This is a UK mining company which has been accused of knowingly exposing workers to hazardous mine dust resulting in many employees contracting silicosis (a life-threatening respiratory disease). Furthermore, in Chile Anglo American has had charges pressed against it for failing to preserve and relocate vegetation, ineffective wetland conservation and management plans, lack of environmental monitoring, and dumping mine tailings in unauthorized areas.
From 2012 to 2016 Lloyds underwrote a bond issuance to the tune of USD 203 million, and provided two corporate loans of USD 668 million and USD 147 million to Vitol. This is a Swiss company, which operates in oil trading. There is evidence that the company purposefully sells diesel to Africa with high levels of sulphur, this results in particulate pollution which is damaging to people’s health. It is also alleged that the company had bought and sold Iranian fuel oil, bypassing an EU embargo against Tehran.
Steps in the right direction
Following the launch of the Green Loan Initiative in 2016, the Group has provided in excess of £0.5 billion of green lending, improving the energy efficiency of over 5 million square feet of real estate.
At the end of 2017, their UK team had financed renewable projects with a combined capacity of over 2.75GW (2016: 1.78GW) and internationally their existing investments in renewables exceed 8.9GW (2016: 7.4GW). See the 2017 annual report for more info.
Dear Mr Horta-Osório,
I have been a Lloyds customer for …. years now. [If you want you can include specific services such as current account, savings, mortgage.]
I appreciate the development of the Green Bond initiative and the fact that you provide financing to renewable projects, this is definitely a step in the right direction!
However, given how pressing climate change is as an issue I believe that this is not enough especially since Lloyds continues to be invested in the company that is Europe’s single biggest emitter of CO².
I would be delighted to return once you align your lending practices with the Paris Agreement targets.
[You can also mention any other lending or projects that you don’t agree with.]