Texas Adds HSBC to Energy Sanctions List
British multinational bank HSBC (LON: HSBA) has been added to Texas’ energy sanctions list, Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced on Monday.
“HSBC’s new energy policy is a prime example of a broader movement in the financial sector to push a social agenda and prioritize political goals over the economic health of their clients,” Hegar said. HSBC announced last year that it would stop financing oil and gas ventures.
Texas governmental entities are prohibited from entering into a contract worth more than $100,000 with a company included in the sanctions list. HSBC joins BlackRock Inc (NYSE: BLK), and other major European banks such as BNP Paribas (EPA: BNP), Credit Suisse (SWX: CSGN), and UBS (SWX: UBSG) in Texas’ list of sanctioned financial companies.
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To be removed from the list, a company should “change its practices so that it does not refuse to deal with, terminate business activities with, or otherwise take actions intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with energy companies because they are energy companies,” according to the Comptroller’s office.
The move comes as Republican-led US states have raised concerns over the environmental, social, and governance policies (ESG) trend, claiming that companies are prioritizing ESG investing over their obligations to their shareholders.
In December, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced that the state was pulling about US$2 billion in investments from asset management company BlackRock Inc due to its strengthening Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards.
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