About the banks comparison table
Market Forces is about “using your money as a force for good”. With our banks comparison table we aim to show people which banks are investing in the fossil fuel industry. We’ve included 106 banks, mutuals and credit unions in our table and tried to make it easy for you to find information and take action to change your bank’s behaviour, or just change your bank!
We only publish what we know. The table is not intended to be a “ranking”. Rather, it aims to clearly present the information Market Forces has gathered so people can compare their current bank, credit union or building society’s position on investing in the fossil fuel industry against possible alternatives. The table only deals with the issue of fossil fuel investments and does not take into account other environmental and social issues.
Did we forget a bank or credit union?
We have done our best to list every Australian bank, credit union and building society but if we’ve missed any please email us and we’ll add them to the table: [email protected]
Methodology – scope and data collection
This research identified loans made to global fossil fuel companies by banks operating in Australia between 2016 and 2022, alongside the banks’ current position on lending to fossil fuels.
Includes banks operating in Australia which are registered with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) as either an ‘Australian-owned authorised deposit-taking institution’ or a ‘foreign subsidiary bank’. These categories represent retail banks which offer banking services to the general public and small businesses.
Includes loans made by the banks between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2022. These were identified using finance industry databases Bloomberg, IJGlobal and Refinitiv. Loans to fossil fuel companies were extracted from this data as described under Fossil fuel companies below.
Loans data for the Big Four Australian banks (ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac) was collected by Market Forces as part of our recently published Banking Climate Failure research. The methodology is described at the end of our online Banking Climate Failure report. To summarise, Market Forces obtained primary data from finance industry databases provided by Bloomberg, IJGlobal and Refinitiv to identify the fossil fuel companies and loan details. Further primary data was sourced from company filings, reports and market disclosures.
Loans data for Bank of China, HSBC, ING and Rabobank was obtained from the 2023 Banking on Climate Chaos report by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), Oil Change International (OCI), Reclaim Finance, the Sierra Club and Urgewald.
Loans data for AMP, Arab Bank, Bank of Queensland, Macquarie and Suncorp was collected by Market Forces through the Bloomberg LEAG function using the same approach as Banking on Climate Chaos.
It should be noted that for syndicated loans, the Bloomberg LEAG function only provides data for the amount loaned by individual banks if they are listed as a ‘Bookrunner’. Bloomberg defines ‘bookrunners’ as “the institution(s) responsible for pricing, executing and/or underwriting a debt or equity issuance” (League Table Standards & Guidelines, Bloomberg, 2022 – available to Bloomberg subscribers). However, syndicated loans typically involve more lenders beyond the bookrunners, which are listed as ‘participants’. Bloomberg does not provide individual loan amounts for banks listed as ‘participant’ lenders in syndicated loans if the bank was not also a ‘bookrunner’ in the deal. As such, our main lending amounts do not account for participant-level loan data, but we have noted in the comments section of the table where participant loans have been significant or where the bank has not participated at all as a Bookrunner. This means that this research should be considered a conservative estimate of loans to fossil fuels by the banks, and the actual amount is likely to be considerably higher.
Fossil fuel companies
For the Big Four (ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac), we used the same fossil fuels companies identified through our recently published Banking Climate Failure research, as per the methodology summarised under Loans above.
For other banks in the table where loan amounts are available, please refer to the Banking on Climate Chaos methodology and fossil fuels company list for a description of the defined universe of fossil fuel companies.
Allocating loan amounts to fossil fuels for diversified companies
For loans made to diversified companies involved in sectors outside the fossil fuel supply chain, the total value of the loan was proportionally adjusted to reflect the proportion of the company’s business involved in fossil fuels.
For the Big Four banks, we based these calculations on companies’ most recent revenue information, obtained from company filings, reports and market disclosures. In certain cases where this was not available, we used production or capacity instead. For the remaining banks where loan information was available on Bloomberg, we based the calculations on the ‘adjuster’ factors used by RAN and partners in their Banking on Climate Chaos research, which are based on a similar apportionment methodology.
Many banks and credit unions in the table did not appear in our research as having funded the fossil fuel industry in recent years. In these cases, we sought a position statement on lending to fossil fuels online (bank webpages and reports). We then approached each bank that did not have a current position statement by email to request their current position. All position statements are current as of July 2023. All position statements shown in the table are unedited unless for brevity purposes.
We would like to thank the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Reclaim Finance, the Sierra Club and Urgewald for sharing their excellent Banking on Climate Chaos research with us. In particular, we are very grateful for the support of April Merleaux, Research Manager – Climate & Energy at the Rainforest Action Network.