New York pension funds push banks for greater disclosure on transition funding
New York City pension funds are pushing several banks, including JP Morgan Chase and the Bank of America, to disclose details on their clean energy funding.
The shareholder proposals filed by the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) and the Board of Education Retirement System ask some of the largest banks to “live up” to their net zero commitments and fully report their ratios of clean energy to fossil fuel finance.
All three of the pension funds filed shareholder proposals against JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, with NYCERS and TRS also filing them against Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and the Royal Bank of Canada.
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New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, who is the custodian of New York City public pension funds’ assets, said: “Despite all their talk, the big banks have made little progress in the energy finance transition over the past couple of years.
“Reporting transparently on their ratios of clean energy to fossil fuel finance is key to seeing whether or not they are living up to their net-zero commitments.”
Analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance has revealed that, based on the latest climate models, overall energy sector investment needs to reach a minimum ratio of 4:1 by 2030. However, in 2022, North American banks fell far short of this target with an average ratio of 0.6:1.
As long-term shareholders, the pension funds stated that they are concerned with the consistent funding of fossil fuel projects and the lack of transparency from these banks on their progress towards climate goals.
In December 2023, the three New York City retirement systems combined have a total holding of 2.81m shares of JPMorgan Chase stock valued at $477.5m, 7.17m shares of Bank of America stock valued at $241.3m, 1.36m shares of Morgan Stanley stock valued at $126.81m, 2.32m shares of Citigroup stock valued at $119.5m, 385.63 thousand shares of Goldman Sachs stock valued at $148.76m and 216.12 thousand shares of Royal Bank of Canada stock valued at $21.96m.