October 29, 2013

ANZ bank switch

Over the weekend dozens of customers lined up outside of ANZ’s Bourke Street Mall branch in Melbourne.
What were they in line for?  They were there to close their accounts.  
And why were they doing this? Was it because they had found banking or better interest rates elsewhere?  No. 
Was it because the bank down the road was offering and especially alluring free piggy bank?  No.
It was because of ANZ’s role as a major lender to the fossil fuel industry.
anz queue 1Wearing t-shirts saying “ANZ chose fossil fuels, so I chose another bank,”  customers let ANZ know in no uncertain terms that lending to industries that destroy the environment and our chance for an habitable climate, is no longer good business.  
Over the past 5 years ANZ has loaned more to coal and gas export ports in the Barrier Reef than any other commercial Australian lender.  But they are not alone.  The Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and NAB are all heavy lenders to the fossil fuel industry too.

Hundreds of bank customers throughout Australia have let their banks know that they are unhappy with these investments and have put them on notice that if they don’t move their money out of fossil fuels, customers will move their accounts to a more earth friendly institution.
Now customers have put words into action.  As the first demonstration of its kind in Australia, banks should take note that customers are willing to make good on their word.
Watch out banks.  More coming soon….

If you would like to find out more about putting your bank on notice or switching accounts see  www.marketforces.org.au/banks/
anz infographic