Banks and financial institutions were too slow to act. Even in the face of Ukrainian tragedy. They dragged their feet pulling their money out of Russian fossil fuel companies – the same companies funding Putin’s invasion. So President Biden stepped in, closely followed by EU rulemakers.
President Biden banned investment in Russian fossil fuels. This immediately cut back operations from lots of the US’s worst fossil fuel financiers. Citi, a banking giant, are wrestling with how to let go of the $10bn they have in Russia. While banks like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are announcing full exits.
The ban on Russian oil and gas has strong bipartisan support in the Congress and in the country.
Americans have rallied to support the people of Ukraine and made it clear we will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war.
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 8, 2022
Days later, the EU tried to follow. The sanctions aren’t as tight. Mainly because the EU is far more dependent on Russian fossil fuels. But more recent updates to their policy are now banning new fossil fuel investments. European banks are scrambling to work out what to do, with DeutscheBank’s notable u-turn, resulting in an exit.
With broad sanctions across the US and EU, attention falls to other major players. Credit Suisse are based in Switzerland (not part of the EU) and have investments in Russia. SMBC, a Japanese bank, are still not ruling out investments in Russia. And more worryingly, China and India may step in and buy up Russian fossil fuels, providing Putin with more money in his war chest. Environmental groups across the world are acting to top this.