May 30, 2018 Read More →

U.S. Banks Resume Lending to Coal Industry

The New York Times:

Starting three years ago, the largest American banks vowed to cut back on lending to the coal industry.

But the banks, it turns out, never actually promised to walk away from coal completely. And now, with coal companies enjoying a small resurgence under the Trump administration, banks are again embracing the industry.

Five of the country’s biggest banks are lending tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to coal companies again, in one case eclipsing what they lent in 2014, before the industry entered a nose dive, according to an analysis by Rainforest Action Network, a liberal environmental group.

JPMorgan’s coal lending increased to $654 million 2017 from $32 million in 2015, according to the analysis. That was more than the $570 million the bank lent to coal interests in 2014. The vast majority of JPMorgan’s coal loans in 2017 were to Peabody, which emerged from bankruptcy that April.

Morgan Stanley’s coal loans, though well below their 2014 levels, more than doubled from 2015 to 2017. And though their loans to coal companies haven’t quite reached earlier levels, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America each added new coal loans last year, the analysis shows. Citigroup made more such loans in 2016 and 2017 than it did in 2015, though well below its 2014 figure.

Combined, the five banks issued about $1.5 billion in new coal-related loans last year, according to Rainforest Action Network.

More: Think the Big Banks Have Abandoned Coal? Think Again

Comments are closed.