Banks around the world have billions of dollars in Russia, funding Russia’s biggest fossil fuel companies. Those are the same companies that are feeding Putin’s war chest. The same companies are filling Russian tanks with fuel. The same companies that are extracting fossil fuels out of the ground, and pushing on the climate crisis.

Lots of fossil fuel companies are pulling all operations out of Russia to avoid being complicit in Putin’s illegal invasion. But many organisations, particularly banks, are desperately trying to cover up their investments. Even if it means money flowing to Putin.

Now, environmental groups around the world are calling on bank CEOs to pull their money out of Russia. Find out what your bank are doing using THIS table from BankTrack.

Here’s the letter:

TO: CEOs of international commercial banks with exposure to Russia  SUBJECT: Seeking your bank’s urgent response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine 

Nijmegen, March 22, 2022 

Dear CEO, 

We, the undersigned organisations, are writing to call on your bank, and private sector banks  globally, to publicly condemn the Russian invasion in Ukraine, to cease all financing of the Russian  coal, oil, and gas industry, and to suspend your further banking operations in Russia. 

Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has caused massive death and destruction and has forced  millions of people to flee their homes in search of safety. Thankfully, the abhorrent actions of the  Russian president have been met with an unprecedented strong global response, with countries  and companies alike exerting maximum pressure on Russia to end the war. In response to the  urgent call of the Ukrainian government for companies to withdraw from Russia, a growing  number of international corporations have already suspended or ended their operations in  Russia.i 

We consider it of utmost importance that banks globally also take urgent action to counter  Russian aggression, by severing ties with the Russian state, and its vassal state Belarus, and by  suspending their relations with Russian companies. It is of particular importance that banks  immediately sever all links with the Russian coal, oil and gas industry, which is fuelling this war,  given that revenues, taxes and export tariffs on oil and gas exports account for some 45% of  Russia’s federal budget. 

In light of the ongoing Russian aggression towards Ukraine we call on banks globally to  immediately take the following measures: 

  1. Take a clear public stance against the Russian invasion of Ukraine: Banks should not  just deplore the situation but publicly condemn the Russian aggression against Ukraine as  unacceptable. 
  2. Report publicly on business activities in Russia, with as much detail and transparency  as legally permitted: This includes overall exposure via lending and investment services,  investments in Russian government and corporate bonds, and investment funds (e.g.  ETFs) and mutual funds offered to retail customers. Banks should also report on losses  resulting from their own policy response to the crisis. 
  3. Cease any and all provision of financial services to Russian and non-Russian  companies operating in the Russian coal, oil and gas sectors. This includes all services  to Russian coal, oil and gas companies as well as to non-Russian fossil fuel companies that  have not yet decided to cease their operations in Russia.ii
  4. Suspend all corporate and investment banking activities in Russia: This should include  new loans and underwriting services and the exclusion of Russian shares and bonds from  bank indices. Such a suspension of activities must take place with due respect for human  rights and following established principles of responsible disengagement.iii
  5. Engage with clients and investee companies with ongoing operations in Russia to  heed the call of the Ukrainian government to cease their operations in Russia.iv Banks  should consider suspending their finance for companies that opt to continue their  operations in Russia.  

We have also taken note of humanitarian responses of a number of banks in support of Ukrainian  refugees, at times donating substantially to such initiatives. We appreciate and welcome such  steps and call on all banks to follow these positive examples. 

Signatories to this letter will in the coming weeks carefully monitor and evaluate all policy steps  taken by banks globally in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with our findings  presented here and regularly updated.  

We kindly seek a response from your bank on this call by April 1st, 2022, at the latest. We thank you  in advance for your bank’s contribution to the global efforts to bring the Russian invasion in  Ukraine to a halt. 


Johan Frijns, Executive Director, BankTrack – Netherlands / International 


Almuth Ernsting, Co-director, Biofuelwatch, United Kingdom / United States

Becky Jarvis, Senior Strategist, Bank on Our Future, United Kingdom/ International

Caitlin Daniel, Interim Communities Director, Accountability Counsel, United States

David Pred, Executive Director, Inclusive Development International, United States

David Tong, Global Industry Campaign Manager, Oil Change International

Deborah Bahr, Director Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee, United States

Dmytro Karabchuk, Executive director, Forest Initiatives and Communities, Ukraine

Elaine Zuckerman, President, Gender Action, United States 

Hasan Mehedi, Member Secretary, Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED),  Bangladesh/International 

Jan Willem van Gelder, Director, Profundo, the Netherlands 

John Nimly Brownell, IFI-HRD Lead, Green Advocates International,

Liberia Kate Watters, Executive Director, Crude Accountability, United States 

Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development,

Asia Morten Kjaerum, Director, Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Sweden 

Myriam Vander Stichele, Senior Researcher, SOMO, the Netherlands 

Nezir Sinani, Co-Director, Recourse, the Netherlands

Nikki Reisch, Director, Climate & Energy Program, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), United States 

Pallavi Phartiyal, Deputy Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network, United States

Pavel Sulyandziga, President, Batani Foundation, United States 

Rayyan Hassan, Executive Director, NGO Forum on ADB, Philippines  

Robert Kugonza, Director, Friends with Environment in Development, Uganda

Ryan Schlief, Executive Director, International Accountability Project, International 

Simone Ogno, Climate & Finance campaigner, ReCommon, Italy 

Sun Li, Office Manager, Blue Dalian, China 

Thomas Kuechenmeister, Managing Director, Facing Finance, Germany 

Thomas Meinert Larsen, Finance Campaigner, AnsvarligFremtid, Denmark

Umo Isua-Ikoh, Coordinator, Peace Point Development Foundation (PPDF), Nigeria 

Wen Bo, Board Director, Snow Alliance, China 

William Drayton, Chair, Get America Working, United States 

i) This includes financial sector companies like the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, Visa and Paypal. For  info on financial sector response to invasion: news/ukraine-invasion-banks-financial-institutions-with-ties-to-russia. For more details of companies that  have exited Russia see 

ii) See the earlier civil society call on banks financing the Russian fossil fuel sector: Similar demands have been made of international Development Finance Institutions, see 

iii) See for example the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct (e.g. Q39, p80),

iv) See: 14/