“October 28th, 2019

Dear Mr. Thomson,

Thank you for your letter of October 17th addressed to RBC and shared with your Financial Advisor, [NAME WITHHELD] concerning our business relationships in the energy sector and for taking the time to share your viewpoints with us. While we are sorry to hear that you are considering closing your accounts with us, we value the feedback that you have provided as a client.

Our approach to climate change is central to our business and to our purpose of helping clients thrive and communities prosper . We believe climate change is the most pressing issue of our age, and RBC has responded with a strategy aimed at helping clients and communities because we believe that capital can be a force for positive change.

RBC supports the principles of the Paris Agreement. We are particularly proud of our work over the last decade to support the transition to a low carbon economy. For example , in 2018, we were very active in supporting clients in renewable energy, clean transportation, and other low carbon sectors, with over $13 billion in financing and advisory transactions. We are North American leaders in the development of the green bond market, and we have been at the forefront of the carbon trading market since 2008. In addition, we have a long history of managing our own carbon footprint and have made a commitment to achieving net -zero carbon emissions in our global operations, annually.

As we continue on this journey, we’re supporting it with a clear new business target: $100 billion in sustainable financing by 2025*. This goal supports investments in sustainable companies and projects that today are widely recognized as contributing to the low carbon, sustainable economy of the future.

A balanced approach is needed to tackle climate change . As we move forward in transitioning to a low-carbon economy, we are mindful of the fact that the world will rely on natural resources and traditional sources of energy for some time to come. We also recognize the important need to continue to direct capital flows to our natural resource and energy sector clients, for innovation and clean technologies that will help reduce emissions and emissions intensity. We believe sustainable resource development will continue to grow and expand concurrently, and that RBC has an essential role to play in supporting the shift to an environmentally sustainable future.

To this end, we support the safe and responsible development of energy resources and evaluate projects against international standards and our own enhanced due diligence frameworks. This means that for prospective and existing clients with business activities that may pose environmental or social issues, there is a rigorous process in place to identify and assess any associated risks. If we choose to pursue or maintain the business relationship, we ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate those risks. This is embedded in our risk management policies. For additional details, please visit the RBC Responsible Financing

webpage: https://www.rbc.com/community-social-impact/environment/environmental-social-risk- management.html

We also acknowledge that practices continue to evolve and input and feedback from many levels and perspectives including our clients is both valuable and important.

Once again, thank you for the opportunity to respond. I hope I have answered your questions and clearly conveyed to you that RBC shares your ardent desire to protect our environment and has a meaningful plan to do so. If you have any questions or would like to talk please let me know.

Sincerely, [NAME WITHHELD]”

 

  1. *Architects Divest Notes (1-5): https://business.financialpost.com/news/fp-street/royal-bank-of-canadas-green-bonds-may-be-used-to-finance-oil-and-gas-companies
  2. https://www.wri.org/finance/banks-sustainable-finance-commitments/?bank=Royal%20Bank%20of%20Canada
  3. $100b by 2025 is a lot less than $100b in 3 years. And it’s not clear that RBC means 2019-2025 as there is no start year given per WRI table noted above in #2.
  4. Their $100b number uses some sort of league table methodology, so at least they aren’t taking the entire credit for deals shared with other banks.
  5. RBC is counting any deals to “positive” projects like “sustainable water management,” “access to essential services,” “affordable housing,” “socioeconomic advancement” ~ not just green energy. They also seem to count some automotive financing.

 

Royal Bank of Canada


Vancity is proud to take a leadership position on climate change. We do not invest capital or assets in oil, gas or coal companies. We also do not provide investment banking services to facilitate access to capital for those companies.”

 

  1. https://www.vancity.com/AboutVancity/VisionAndValues/ValuesBasedBanking/EnvironmentalSustainability/
  2. https://vcim.ca/impact/were-proud-to-address-climate-risk/

 

VanCity Credit Union, BC

Tangerine is a direct bank that delivers simplified everyday banking to Canadians. Tangerine was launched as ING DIRECT Canada in 1997. In 2012 it was acquired by Scotiabank, and operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary. For more information, visit tangerine.ca (CNW Group/Tangerine)

 


“Tangerine provides banking services to individual Canadians and their families and offers limited savings products for Canadian businesses. We are not involved in the oil and gas industry.”

“Scotiabank strongly believes in responsible resource development and that federal and local governments have rigorous public consultation and impact review processes. Environmental assessments and consulting with local residents are important parts of the process. Tangerine is a wholly owned subsidiary of Scotiabank, which is involved in the oil and gas sector in different capacities around the world.”

 

From an internal document shared by a Tangerine chat agent with Andy Thomson on Nov, 26th, 2019. It should be noted however that Scotiabank has invested $93b in O&G investments in Canada from 2016 to 2018 alone per The Tyee.  

 

Tangerine Bank, Canada


“Meridian has only recently started doing business out of province over the past 12 months. Typically we go into deals as part of a syndicate in either land & construction (condo development) or hospitality/hotel financing deals. So far, Alberta has not been a market of significant opportunity for us. We have not provided any financing to O&G companies or oilfield services in Alberta to date. I am told that as an Ontario based credit union, we take deposits and re-invest those within Ontario as a majority.”

 

Architects Divest has requested a forward-looking statement clarifying Meridian’s policy specifically on Climate Change, they have answered that this has been passed on to corporate for review and comment and they will let me know as soon as they have issued a formal statement.

 

Meridian Credit Union, ON


“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis ullamcorper quam libero, porta porta turpis congue eget. Mauris sed diam nec quam mattis imperdiet vel quis arcu. Integer eu eleifend justo, vitae ultricies est. Donec in arcu ac nisi fermentum semper in in urna. Aliquam pellentesque posuere facilisis. Etiam felis erat, molestie vitae mi a, venenatis aliquet sapien. Quisque tempor vestibulum libero quis tempus. Duis faucibus iaculis ante nec gravida. Etiam quis nibh nisi. Aliquam dui nibh, semper id ante a, feugiat dictum turpis.

Curabitur non varius leo. Maecenas porttitor lectus lorem, ac imperdiet magna aliquet in. Donec laoreet a arcu in pharetra. Sed euismod aliquet velit, et finibus nibh. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Fusce pharetra eget dui ut gravida. Nulla viverra ut justo vel auctor. Nulla nisi tellus, rhoncus eget mauris vel, dapibus consectetur nibh. Nunc non enim consequat, feugiat erat quis, fermentum nulla.”

 

(In other words, Architects that have requested information from TD Canada Trust are still in process. )

 

TD Canada Trust


“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis ullamcorper quam libero, porta porta turpis congue eget. Mauris sed diam nec quam mattis imperdiet vel quis arcu. Integer eu eleifend justo, vitae ultricies est. Donec in arcu ac nisi fermentum semper in in urna. Aliquam pellentesque posuere facilisis. Etiam felis erat, molestie vitae mi a, venenatis aliquet sapien. Quisque tempor vestibulum libero quis tempus. Duis faucibus iaculis ante nec gravida. Etiam quis nibh nisi. Aliquam dui nibh, semper id ante a, feugiat dictum turpis.

Curabitur non varius leo. Maecenas porttitor lectus lorem, ac imperdiet magna aliquet in. Donec laoreet a arcu in pharetra. Sed euismod aliquet velit, et finibus nibh. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Fusce pharetra eget dui ut gravida. Nulla viverra ut justo vel auctor. Nulla nisi tellus, rhoncus eget mauris vel, dapibus consectetur nibh. Nunc non enim consequat, feugiat erat quis, fermentum nulla.”

 

(In other words, Architects that have requested information from Scotiabank are still in process. )

 

Scotiabank

 

 

 

Press Contacts

Architects Divest c/o

Jennifer Cutbill | Vancouver

Bruce Haden | Vancouver

Andy Thomson | Barrie

Contact & Events

Looking for more information or a human to chat with?  You can send us an email at the contacts page, and discover events there too!

Social

#ArchitectsDivest     #ArchitectsDeclare      #StandwithGreta       #DesignforFuture_earth      #DesignersClimateArmy      #Fridaysforfuture      #climateaction      #ourclimatefuture