4 More Anti-Energy, ESG-Activist Financial Institutions Banned by West Virginia

Craig Bannister | April 9, 2024
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West Virginia, which is a leading source of the nation’s natural gas and coal, has severed business ties with four more financial institutions that boycott traditional energy producers in furtherance of their ideological, leftist ESG agenda.

By depriving disliked energy producers of capital, financial institutions advancing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ideology are seeking to starve the traditional energy sector out of existence.

West Virginia, the nation's fifth-largest energy producer, has substantial fossil fuel and natural gas resources – both of which are despised by ESG ideology – and provides six percent of the nation’s total energy.

On Monday, State Treasurer Riley Moore announced that West Virginia had banned state contracts with the following four institutions:

  • Citibank,
  • TD Bank,
  • Northern Trust, and
  • HSBC Holdings.


They join five other previously-banned ESG activist financial institutions:

  • BlackRock,
  • Goldman Sachs,
  • J.P. Morgan Chase,
  • Morgan Stanley, and
  • Wells Fargo.


Due to West Virginia’s cancellation of its contracts, the first five firms reportedly lost access to approximately $18 billion annually, The Washington Examiner reports.

“We cannot allow institutions that seek to destroy our state’s critical energy industries and the economic activity they generate to also profit from handling the very taxpayer dollars they seek to diminish,” Treasurer Moore said:

“My action today represents our continued commitment to protect state funds from furthering these politically motivated, subjective ESG policies that attempt to cut off financing for our coal, oil and natural gas industries and harm our state.”

Before banning them, West Virginia gives institutions 45 days to show that they have abandoned their efforts to use their financial power to bully capital-seekers into succumbing to ESG ideology. Two, BMO and Fifth Third Bank, did just that and kept their contracts with the state.

“After receiving our initial notice, both Fifth Third Bancorp and BMO Bank worked with my Office to clarify their policies and ensure they are not harming our fossil fuel industries,” Treasurer Moore said. “Specifically, BMO Bank removed an offending policy published on their website after receiving our letter and subsequently demonstrated other existing policies had been revoked. I applaud both of these institutions for working with us in a cooperative way to ensure the free market remains free and our state’s critical industries are treated fairly.”

Moore’s authority to ban is provided by the state’s Restricted Financial Institution List law, which empowers the treasurer to ensure that financial institutions are not holding the same state revenue and taxpayer dollars that their ESG policies are attempting to diminish.

Treasurer Moore told The Washington Examiner that, through its bans, West Virginia is simply “trying to get banks to act like banks” and “keeping the free market free.”