Another Bank Accused of Greenwashing

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    Stockholm (NordSIP) – It has been relatively quiet around the ongoing investigation into DWS’s alleged greenwashing. However, the dramatic events of May, when law enforcement officials in Frankfurt raided the offices of Deutsche Bank and DWS, have hardly been forgotten.

    Now it is another bank’s turn to experience the scrutiny of local authorities, facing similar charges. On 12 October, Canada’s federal law enforcement body, the Competition Bureau (CCB), launched an investigation into the country’s largest lender, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), over allegations that the bank had misled customers regarding its commitments regarding climate action.

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    The official inquiry is conducted on behalf of Canadian residents who accuse the bank of engaging in “deceptive marketing practices.” It was back in April that a coalition of six Indigenous leaders and land defenders, and individual environmental activists filed an application claiming that while RBC publicly says it is taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the climate crisis, the bank is exacerbating climate change by continuing to provide financing for fossil fuel development and expansion.

    After consulting with independent experts, CCB decided to grant their application. “The inquiry seeks to determine the facts relating to allegations that RBC has contravened the (Competition) Act by making false or misleading environmental representations,” explains Marie-Christine Vézina, a spokesperson for CCB, in a letter dated 29 September.

    In an official letter, RBC states that it strongly disagrees with the allegations and “believes the complaint to be unfounded and not in line with Canada’s climate plan.”

    It will be interesting to follow how this new high-profile greenwashing investigation plays out.

    Image courtesy of PiggyBank on Unsplash
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