Australian Westpac to reduce loans to oil and coal companies by 2030


A pedestrian looks at his phone as he walks past a logo for Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp located outside a branch in central Sydney, Australia, November 5, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray

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July 27 (Reuters) – Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp on Wednesday unveiled plans to cut lending to coal, oil and gas companies by nearly a quarter by 2030, joining its peers in an initiative to reduce emissions.

The country’s third-largest lender by market value followed rivals National Australia Bank (NAB.AX) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AX) in filing a detailed plan after deciding to cut lending to the oil and gas sector.

The NAB implemented a $2.4 billion cap on loans to oil and gas companies while the CBA pledged to halve emissions by 2030. ( /3RZei3j) (

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With weather-related disasters on the rise, costing lives and billions in losses, green groups are increasingly fighting coal projects around Australia, calling on banks not to lend citing potential damage to the climate.

“By publishing 2030 sector goals in emissions-intensive industries, we are setting clear benchmarks and helping our customers make the transition,” said Westpac CEO Peter King.

Westpac is targeting a 23% reduction in funded emissions in absolute Scope 1, 2 and 3 terms by 2030 by companies involved in exploring, extracting or drilling for oil and gas.

The Sydney-based company will also stop dealing with companies that derive more than 5% of their revenue directly from thermal coal mining by the same year.

The lender has joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), which includes peers NAB and CBA as members, convened by the United Nations.

The NZBA is a coalition of nearly 100 banks representing nearly half of global banking assets. Members commit to aligning their loan and investment portfolios to net-zero emissions by 2050.

In a separate statement, the lender said it would approve mortgages in as little as 10 minutes by the end of the year, competing with other banks that have used fast turnaround times to attract the borrowers.

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Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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