Nineteen state AGs probe major banks over environmental, social and governance policies

The states are investigating Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.

Updated: October 19, 2022 - 3:42pm

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Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) on Wednesday announced he is leading a coalition of 19 states in a probe of six major banks over environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing policies and involvement with the United Nations’ Net-Zero Banking Alliance.

The states are investigating Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, all of which are Net-Zero Banking Alliance members and are required to set emissions reductions targets to net zero by 2050.

"We are leading a coalition investigating banks for ceding authority to the U.N., which will only result in the killing of American companies that don't subscribe to the woke, climate agenda," Schmitt said.

The six banks were served with civil investigative demands, similar to a subpoena, for information about their involvement with the UN and their environmental, social and governance practices.

"These financial institutions are entrusted with protecting a different type of green," said Arizona Attorney General Attorney General Mark Brnovich, whose state is part of the investigation.

While five states cannot be named due to state laws or confidentiality regulations, other states involved in the probe include Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The announcement comes one day after Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick withdrew about $500 million in state pension funds from BlackRock over the investment company's "woke" agenda.