In the view of state Comptroller Glenn Hegar, HSBC has just messed with Texas. His beef: The European banking giant took a stand in December against providing "new finance, or new advisory services" for new oil or gas fields, as well as any infrastructure "whose primary use is in conjunction with new O&G fields." As a result, reports Quartz, Hegar has blacklisted the bank—meaning any Texas governmental entity is banned from any sort of investment in HSBC, and those that already have them must divest—until HSBC stops punishing energy companies "because they are energy companies," per Hegar's office. "HSBC's policies threaten Texas jobs, our state economy, and our national security, and the tax dollars of hardworking Texans should not be leveraged to force policies that undermine Texas' fiscal health and stability," he noted.
As the Washington Examiner reports, HSBC joins 10 other companies on the list of those boycotting fossil-fuel financing, including BlackRock. The latter in December lost Florida as a client and some $2 billion in managed assets over its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) stance, which Gov. Ron DeSantis has denounced as "the woke ESG financial scam," per Quartz. But with HSBC's annual lending to the industry at about $20 billion, or 2.7% of global lending, the news outlet notes the bank's move won't make much of a difference in a vacuum. (President Biden just used his first veto to protect retirement plans in considering social and environmental factors in investing.)