Finance

SEC investigating banks’ disclosures on guns, climate change: report

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The Texas office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating whether lenders are providing regulators and investors with different versions of their policies on working with fossil fuel, gun and other companies, Reuters reported

The news outlet, citing two sources, reported that the office’s enforcement staff sent letters to a number of banks that have served as underwriters asking them to provide proof they are following the policies on environmental, social and governance issues published in their public disclosures.

Reuters could not determine the number of banks that were sent letters by the SEC or if only those that filed public certifications in Texas — ones in which companies say that they will not engage in discriminatory practices against firearm companies or “boycott” energy companies — were under federal scrutiny.

A SEC spokesperson declined to comment to The Hill when asked about the Reuters report.

The preliminary probe comes as lenders appear to be caught in the middle between the interests of investors and state policies. 

While some banks have taken on positions regarding regarding fossil fuel financing or involvement in racial equity work following pushes from their workforce or investors, banks that have discriminatory policies against fossil fuel companies and gunmakers are not allowed to work with state agencies under several Texas laws, Reuters noted.

Tags Firearms Fossil fuel lending SEC

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