For CIBC, look up your branch here. You can call or contact one of the financial advisors whose email address is listed.
I recently learned that CIBC 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 3.5 out of 200 possible points on in the 2021 Banking on Climate Chaos Report from BankTrack. The same report found that CIBC has pumped over $86 billion 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 also noted with surprise that your bank refused to sign the U.N. Declaration on Responsible Banking which has been signed by more than 100 major banks around the world.
I am aware of your superficial environmental policies and programs, but they cannot undo the harm caused by the financing that you continue to provide to the fossil fuel industry. On the other hand, 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 CIBC 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.