For BMO, look up your branch here. BMO also lists FAX numbers for the branch! This is fun because people in the branch will talk if they get a flood of faxes. This website will allow you to upload a word document and send it as a fax!
In March of 2021, BMO joined other banks in pledging to achieve net-zero lending by 2050. But their CEO immediately telegraphed that they weren’t planning to do anything in the near future, when it matters. Read more about their announcement here.
I recently learned that BMO is one of the top funders of fossil fuel expansion and therefore a direct threat to future generations. I found it very concerning that your bank received 11.5 out of 200 possible points on in the 2021 Banking on Climate Chaos Report from BankTrack. The same report found that BMO has pumped over $126 billion CAD into fossil fuels since the Paris Accord was signed. That money is being used to pump CO2 into our atmosphere, putting millions of lives at risk and driving the 6th mass extinction.
I am aware of your recent pledge to stop lending to fossil fuel companies by 2050, but I am concerned about the loans you are making now and in the next few years. I am also aware that given the broader shift in market sentiment over the past year many banks are reconsidering their policies in this area. For this reason, I have decided to wait until Earth Day 2022 to transfer my money to a more responsible institution. As of today, that will likely be a local credit union, however I am open to the possibility of staying with BMO or transferring to another major Canadian bank which sets ambitious targets for phasing out new loans to fossil fuel companies.
In particular, I hope your bank will be able to commit to the following:
- publicly commit to immediately end your support for all new fossil fuel projects, including exploration, extraction, transportation and power
- publish a robust plan for phasing out your support for all existing fossil fuel projects and companies on a timetable consistent with what is necessary to meet the Paris targets.
- ensure that you do not lend to companies that operate in Indigenous territories without free and informed prior consent.
I know that, as a branch manager, you don’t have much influence on the bank’s fossil fuel policies, but I ask that you pass my concerns up to your district manager and let me know how they respond.