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West Virginia Treasurer Announces Four More Banks on Restricted List



April 9, 2024West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore on Monday added four more financial institutions to the list of those he said are boycotting investments in fossil fuel companies.

“These banks are actively cutting off access to capital for fossil fuel companies,” he told miners at the Tunnel Ridge Mine in Valley Grove Monday. “This has a serious negative impact on keeping coal mines open and coal miners working.”


West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore speaks with miners at the Tunnel Ridge Mine in Valley Grove on Monday.

Photo by Joselyn King

Moore is also a Republican candidate for West Virginia’s District 2 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in the May 14 election.

Moore announced the following firms are now ineligible to provide banking services to the state of West Virginia after they were found to be cutting off funding to fossil fuel companies: Citigroup Inc.; TD Bank, N.A.; The Northern Trust Company and HSBC Holdings PLC. Already on the list were BlackRock Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co.

“This means they have lost the ability to bid on any financial services contract with the state government of West Virginia, and that is pretty broad and wide and goes all the way to the university systems,” Moore explained.

He does believe the threat of sanctions is forcing some financial institutions to re-evaluate their policies as they pertain to lending money to fossil fuel companies.

According to Moore, notices of potential inclusion on the list were delivered to an initial group of six financial institutions in February. The notified financial institutions then had 30 days to provide additional information to demonstrate to the treasurer that they are not engaged in a boycott of fossil fuel companies.

Two companies that were initially notified – BMO Bank and Fifth Third Bancorp – were not added to the list after they agreed their policies “were wrong,” according to Moore.

“They changed their policies as it pertains to lending to the fossil fuels industry. They have dropped their prohibitions,” he said.

When the first list of blacklisted banks were announced in 2022, another financial institution – U.S. Bank – rethought and changed its policies with regard to investing in fossil fuel companies.

“I think it is making a difference, and it is getting some of these large financial institutions to think about these policies and how they affect the everyday American and West Virginian,” Moore said.

The original four banks listed have made no changes to their policies, he continued.

“If they do, I would welcome that and be glad to take them off the list,” Moore said. “But if they do not, they will not have any contracts with the state of West Virginia.”

Moore, as treasurer, proposed West Virginia legislation creating the state Restricted Financial Institution List law – which state lawmakers passed in 2022. It authorizes the state treasurer to publish a list of financial institutions that have publicly stated they will refuse, terminate or limit doing business with coal, oil or natural gas companies without a reasonable business purpose.

Under the law, the treasurer may exclude banks on the list from eligibility for contracts for state banking services, ensuring that financial institutions are not holding the same state revenue and taxpayer dollars their ESG policies are attempting to diminish.

“It is important for elected officials to use the authority and powers that have been given them by the voters of West Virginia,” Moore said. “I think people are a little tired of politicians telling them how terrible things are, and not doing anything about it. We’re doing something about it.”