The big 5 Canadian banks have provided $700 BILLION in fossil fuel financing through loans and investments since 2016, while globally we are set to burn 50% more fossil fuels than is consistent with staying below 2 degrees warming. But our banks continue to finance fossil fuel expansion. Without enormous loans from banks, (as well as support from big insurance firms) the projects would not be possible. This is why we demand the banks divest from fossil fuels and stop enabling fossil fuel production.
Commercial banks, like the Big 5, are for-profit institutions owned by their shareholders. This means that they operate with the intention of turning a profit for those shareholders, and are often traded on the stock market. As with most for-profit corporations, the more shares someone owns, the greater influence they have over the decisions that are made by the bank. Alternatively, Credit Unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, designed to serve their members and members’ communities because they are member owned. This means that any depositor is a member and gets an equal vote in board member elections regardless of the amount of their deposit.
Remember, when it comes to your personal banking, the big 5 are not your only option! When managing your money, you actually have two options: commercial banks and credit unions. To learn more about divesting your bank from fossil fuels or moving your money to a credit union, visit: bankingonabetterfuture.org