In February, NatWest CEO announced the de-financing of two entire, vital UK industries

Graham Charles Lear
7 min readJul 30, 2023

The Farage and Millar BANKING incident is just the tip of an enormous iceberg that is affecting every one of us in ways you can't imagine.

The CEO’s departure has not changed the bank’s threat to our electricity supply

Without its oil and gas industries, the UK’s lights would go out for much of the time. Despite this, in February the former NatWest CEO announced the bank was blocking all new financing for oil and gas exploration, extraction and production — with immediate effect. This decision — clearly political — remains in place and her departure has changed nothing.

I explain what is at stake when banks like the NatWest Group decide policies they think are good for us and exclude industries which “don’t align with our values”.

This affects every single one of us who uses electricity.

Nigel Farage’s experiences were bad enough — but they are just the tip of the iceberg

In the last few weeks, Nigel Farage’s experiences with the NatWest Group have quite rightly made the headlines. Yesterday he launched his new ‘Account Closed’ website to take up this cause.

The government stepped in — as a major shareholder in this bank we all bailed out — and the CEO was forced to step down. However, her policies live on. And these are policies which must clearly have been approved by the Board.

In what follows, I have summarised some very disturbing facts about the NatWest Group’s move to become a political organisation rather than a banking and financial services group.

What WAS this woman thinking?

Speech by NatWest Group CEO, Dame Alison Rose, 09 Feb 2023

“Having climate change at the heart of our purpose-led strategy has changed the way we operate as a bank.”

“Almost 3 years ago, in this very building I announced that tackling climate change would be a central pillar of my strategy as CEO of NatWest Group. Today, a week ahead of the publication of our initial Climate Transition Plan, I want to take stock, outline our progress and set out our plans to drive further action.”

Credit: NatWest Group 2023

“I want to send a very clear message at the beginning of 2023 that we are not letting up on tackling climate change.”

“Having climate change at the heart of our purpose-led strategy has changed the way we operate as a bank.”

“So from today, we will not provide reserve based lending specifically for the purpose of financing oil and gas exploration, extraction and production for new customers, and, after, the 31st December 2025 we will not renew, refinance or extend existing reserve based lending specifically for the purpose of financing oil and gas exploration, extraction and production.”

- Alison Rose CBE, former CEO, NatWest Group, 09 Feb 2023

Almost unbelievable

‘The political bank’ and its policies threaten two key industries and our electricity supply

Dame Alison Rose’s actions against Nigel Farage were bad enough. Now i can reveal that under her direct leadership — and with the agreement of the NatWest Board which continues to support her after her departure — she decided to stop lending to the entire UK oil and gas sector.

She announced in a speech on 09 February this year (2023) that NatWest was no longer interested in clients from the oil and gas sector.

Oil and gas represent a fundamentally important sector of the UK economy. Without them, and the myriad of companies which rely on them, the UK economy would suffer and we could all end up with the lights going out. Did Dame Alison forget she was a banker, not a politician or eco-warrior?

The UK still relies heavily on oil and gas — without it we would all grind to a halt

Some politicians may continually talk about green policies, but the majority of us still have to fill up our cars with petrol or diesel. The big tanker ships which bring massive imports to our shores — including Liquified Natural Gas — all need diesel fuel. Lorries need diesel to transport our goods by road.

The UK used to have a thriving offshore industry in oil and gas exploration and production. It seems that the NatWest Group wants to cut it off from all financing.

This is interesting in light of the news that in the coming week, Rishi Sunak is apparently due to announce a round of new licenses for North Sea oil and gas exploration. If British banks have gone woke, then I assume overseas investors will benefit.

“Who powers you, Baby?”

Below I show what powers the UK’s electricity production. Without this mix, the lights would go out in NatWest’s headquarters and all the computers would go down. The Board of the NatWest Group would not even be able to ascend in a lift to their luxury floor.

Where does NatWest’s electricity come from?

As always, I went to the most definitive sources to find out how the UK’s electricity is generated. Below I show the percentages of each source, for the NatWest Board’s benefit.

  • Gas, coal, oil, other 71.1%
  • Solar and wind 28.9%

[Source: Oxford University’s ‘Our World in Data’.]

Maybe energy companies should stop supplying electricity to the banks.

If NatWest can close an account that ”doesn’t align with our purpose and values”, then why don’t energy companies follow suit and stop providing electricity to the banks, which have very different “purposes and values” to them?

If Dame Alison Rose is so keen on Net Zero — can someone please turn off the electricity to her laptop?

It gets worse — “A Rose by any other name”

Unfortunately Rose and her banking colleagues are not alone. It turns out that many insurance companies have embarked on the same woke, ESG/EDI agenda.

Underwriting the threat to our electricity supply, two years ago the United Nations came up with something called the “Net Zero Insurance Alliance” (NZIA). This demands that by 2050 member firms must cut off all customers in industries which emit greenhouse gases.

Given that insurance companies, like banks, have provided finance to the oil and gas sector and that this is now actively being discouraged, what chance does the energy sector have?

© United Nations 2023 — click to enlarge

It seems highly likely that not only will individuals and companies be increasingly de-banked, but they will also be uninsured. In the case of the oil and gas sector, this means it will become unviable. Amongst other things, here is what the UN requires insurers to sign up to.

“My company commits to:

“Transitioning all operational and attributable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios to net-zero emissions by 2050.”

“Establishing, to the extent permissible by applicable laws and regulations, its intermediate, science-based targets every five (5) years in line with Article 4.9 of the Paris Agreement.”

In other words, this has already started and will accelerate every six months. Here are some more from the UN’s “Statement of Commitment by signatory companies”

“My company will:

“Seek to meet this Commitment through net-zero approaches relevant to insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios, in such a manner that is at the discretion of my company and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, including but not limited to:

“Setting independently underwriting criteria and guidelines for activities where my company has, or can have, the most significant impact, particularly the most GHG-intensive and GHG-emitting activities within its underwriting portfolios, in order to be aligned with a 1.5°C net-zero transition pathway.”

UN “Net Zero Insurance Alliance” (NZIA), 05 July 2023

The failed bank in which you own a 42% share

The NatWest Group used to be known as RBS — The Royal Bank of Scotland. Following the banking collapse in 2007/2008, it had to be bailed out by the taxpayer. Even today it is 42% owned by the public, according to a Government statement on 03 April of this year.

When Dame Alison Rose took over as CEO of NatWest, she appears to have decided that a ‘woke agenda’ was the most important aspect of her leadership, in returning funds to the British taxpayer.

Why did the NatWest Board go along with the bank becoming a climate campaigner?

Oil and gas represent a fundamentally important sector of the UK economy. Without them, and the myriad of companies which rely on them, the UK economy would suffer and we could all end up with the lights going out. Did Dame Alison forget she was a banker, not a politician or climate protester?

Did you know about the NatWest Group’s policy under CEO Dame Alison Rose to de-finance the UK’s oil and gas industries? Did you know about the United Nations insurance sector plan to un-insure customers who don’t meet its climate change agenda?

The peasants are revolting

Those who inhabit the top floors of corporate Britain must wake up and smell their double latte cappuccinos. They are now completely out of touch with the majority of their customers.

It is becoming increasingly clear that legislation is required to prevent businesses — be they banks, insurance companies, or anyone else — from discriminating against customers on the grounds of political opinions or their legitimate business interests.

On a more general level, we all need to speak up and tell these people in the big corporates that we expect them to focus on what they are there to do. If they want to espouse political views, there is a place called Parliament in which to do that. They just have to get elected by the people first.

Sources: Oxford University — Our World in Data | NatWest Group | United Nations — NZIA

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.