Fair Finance Guide

Issue 162 

Last updated: July 2016


Undermining our future

A report from Fair Finance Guide International launched late last year called ‘Undermining Our Future’ showed, perhaps not unexpectedly, that the mainstream banking industry is overwhelmingly supporting the fossil fuel sector. 

The UK’s biggest five banks for consumers, HSBC, Barclays, RBS, Lloyds and Santander all feature in the top 25 of banks investing in fossil fuels (see table below). 

Table: Fossil Fuels and banks 

Click on the image to enlarge

The report covered a ten year period from 2004 to 2014 and also showed that although the proportion of its funding for renewables increased towards the end of the period, it still falls well short of the investment that is needed. 

About the report

The report measured the trends within financial institutions towards finance for companies engaged in fossil fuels (coal mining and oil & gas) and renewable energy projects (solar, wind and geothermal).[1] The full report runs to 313 pages, looks at 75 financial institutions, and has identified more than 14,000 transactions. 

Overall, the report found some positive movement: the “25 biggest financial institutions increased financing of… renewable energy and renewable energy projects by 35% compared to the first half [of the study]. However, at the same time, they also increased their funding to the selected companies attributable to fossil fuels by 1%”.

The whole report is free to download from the Fair Finance Guide's website.

About Fair Finance Guide International

Fair Finance Guide International (FFGI) is a global coalition launched in 2014 to create ethical rankings for banks based on common criteria. Like Ethical Consumer it seeks to use ranking as a lever for change and to drive up best practice in a ‘race to the top’.

FFGI was initiated by Oxfam and Amnesty in the Netherlands and is funded by the Swedish Agency for International Development. It is therefore able to direct substantial resources to this project. It currently has online rankings live or in preparation in eight countries: Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Netherlands,, Norway, India, Indonesia, Japan and Sweden. Each ranking is prepared by a country coalition, which often includes development and human rights organisations, labour unions, environmental groups, and consumer organisations.




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1 The following sectors were excluded: Bioenergy (biofuel & biomass), Hydro power, Nuclear power, Tidal Energy http://fairfinanceguide.org