Changing Finance: new this month – April

Our monthly round-up of news, ideas and initiatives related to transforming the UK financial system for people and planet, compiled by the Lab’s CEO, Jesse Griffiths.

The climate crisis

The IPCC’s latest report tells us greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025. This necessitates a rapid scale down of fossil fuel use: yet the world’s 60 biggest banks poured $742 billion into fossil fuels in 2021 and have made a whopping £4.6 trillion from them since 2015, according to the new Banking on Climate Chaos report.

Investors have analysed the climate transition plans of 166 companies – no one comes out well. And, sadly, asset managers also perform badly in this new scorecard, which ranks them on their fossil fuel and climate records.

Here’s some cause for hope – seven reasons why we may be close to a tipping point for serious bank action on climate. There’s also a new global standard for what good climate lobbying by firms looks like. And here’s why financial regulators should play a role in climate and nature protection and six things the IMF could do to stop enabling fossil fuels.

What is ‘truly green’ Green Equity?

Here’s more on the international financiers of Russian oil and gas.

Finance, poverty and [in]equality

More than 250 million people around the world could be pushed into extreme poverty this year, and there’s a ‘huge build-up of debt’ in the world’s poorest countries. Yet only two banks have used the international transparency scheme designed to help tackle this problem.

In Britain we face a ‘personal debt tsunami’ – here’s what to do about it.

Here’s a short news video on the poverty premium, the extra cash people on low incomes have to pay to access services, including financial services.

Got some shares and want to vote at your AGM for racial equity? Here’s a guide (US focussed).

A new study reveals that firms led by men find it easier to get investment than women-led firms.

What has driven the long-term, massive rise in house prices in the UK?

Beware the rich persons’ savings glut.

Also…

Now is not the time for a light touch on banking regulation, according to the FT.

The Bank of England has asked firms to pay for 100 extra staff to tackle risks from crypto assets. Will the government’s backing for Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) just help the wealthy few?

Did you know that one in five bankers has benefitted from being a UK non-dom?

The boss of the Scottish National Investment Bank quits after an SNIB investment in a tax haven-linked firm.

China’s central bank is leading the pack on digital currency.

And finally…

Could the IMF’s international reserve currency (Special Drawing Rights or SDRs) become a transformative resource?

In defence of civil disobedience (and breaking Barclays’ windows).

And the ‘shameful implosion’ of UK aid.