Multiple attorneys general call on major banks to not adopt ESG scoring systems

The attorneys general made it clear in the letter that financial institutions should not be hijacked by political activists.

Published: April 1, 2023 3:45pm

Updated: April 2, 2023 11:25am

Twenty-one United States attorneys general have signed on to a letter to 53 of the largest financial institutions in America, warning them that if they adopt Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies it could be considered a breach of their legal obligations to their clients.

The letter was written earlier this week and was signed by GOP state attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

"You are … not only bound to follow the general laws discussed above but also have extensive responsibilities under both federal and state laws governing securities," the letter obtained by Fox News Digital states.

"Simply put, you are not the same as political or social activists and you should not be allowing the vast savings entrusted to you to be commandeered by activists to advance non-financial goals," the letter continued.

This effort has been led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, who has been outspoken about the dangers of ESG policies. 

ESG investment strategies, increasingly prevalent among large asset management firms, seek to leverage passive investors' assets to steer corporate decision-making to promote progressive social and environmental priorities. 

ESG has often been compared to the "social credit" system used by China's ruling Communist elite to enforce political conformity on its population.

"This ESG nonsense is filtering into a lot of our states and the way they're doing it is really, really concerning and probably flagrantly illegal," Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen told Fox News Digital during an interview. "Pushing it through these asset managers and through these proxy votes is extremely concerning." 

Charlotte Hazard is a reporter for Just the News. Follow her on Twitter for more stories.

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