PNC bank changes loan policy to mining companies

March 4, 2015

Pittsburgh, PA-based PNC Bank has said it will no longer finance coal companies that rely on mountaintop removal for more than 25 percent of their production. ?

The decision means U.S. coal producers will no longer be able to get credit from the bank or credit from JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, RBS and UBS which have all pledged to move away from financing such projects, The Guardian reported.

In 2010, PNC stopped financing companies that engage in the controversial practice for more than 50 percent of their production. The new policy came out as part of the bank’s corporate responsibility report (pdf).

“Driven by environmental and health concerns, as well as our risk appetite, we introduced a mountaintop removal (MTR) financing policy in late 2010 and subsequently enhanced that policy in 2014,” the report says.

Under the new policy, deals with mountaintop removal companies will represent less than 0.25 percent of PNC’s total financing commitments, down from less than 0.5 percent last year, a company spokesperson said.

The move follows years of campaigning from environmental organizations that have pressured banks to move away from financing mountaintop removal mining. The controversial mining method is especially used in the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States.

Funding is still available from Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank, among others.

The PNC news comes after five years of Pennsylvania protests over the bank’s involvement in mountaintop removal.


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