Financial Institutions Retreating from ESG Claptrap

Or are they? Are they, maybe, simply moving to disguise their ESG claptrap in other ways or only altering their rhetoric without materially altering their censorious behavior?

States have responded [to the explosion of ESG irrelevances] with a barrage of legislation that restricts the use of ESG factors or targets entities that boycott certain industries.
Financial institutions are reacting to these state-level actions with what appears to be a retreat from their commitment to ESG, but there are questions if they are changing or just regrouping the efforts under new names.

One way to control for financial institutions’ weasel-wording around those State-level bars (whether those institutions are looking sub rosa to avoid the bars or not) would be to require financial institutions that decline a loan application, or cancel an account, or otherwise restrict one relative to similar accounts of other customers is the following.

Require financial institutions to explain their adverse actions to their customers in concrete, measurable terms supported by including in their letters of explanation the hard, factual data they used to form their adverse actions, along with the concretely termed concerns the financial institution claims to have toward its adversely affected customer/prospective customer. Simply asserting that the enterprise/individual doesn’t align with the financial institution’s values doesn’t cut it. Which value? How? Show them the hard data supporting the assertion. Explain how any data provided by the enterprise/individual falls short.

There are no serious compliance difficulty/cost concerns here. The financial institution taking the adverse action already has collected and organized the data and concerns underlying its action; the institution has merely to copy/paste those materials into the letter advising its customer/prospective customer of the adverse action.

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