Connect with us

Banking

Bank of England told to stop buying ‘high carbon’ bonds

Published

on

Bank of England told to stop buying 'high carbon' bonds 1

By David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) – A group of British members of parliament said on Monday that the Bank of England should stop buying bonds from businesses whose activities accelerate global warming.

Britain’s central bank doubled its holdings of corporate bonds to 20 billion pounds ($27 billion) last year as part of efforts to support the economy through the coronavirus pandemic.

The House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee – which looks at public bodies’ impact on global warming – said buying bonds from firms such as energy companies with high carbon emissions contravened government goals to reduce global warming.

“The Bank must begin a process of aligning its corporate bond purchasing programme with Paris Agreement goals as a matter of urgency,” the committee’s chairman, Philip Dunne, wrote in a letter to BoE Governor Andrew Bailey.

The parliament committee has no formal power over the BoE, which is operationally independent, but finance minister Rishi Sunak could potentially change the BoE’s remit to require a greater focus on environmental issues.

Britain will host the global COP26 climate summit in September and Dunne said the BoE should set a good example.

Bailey said in July that the central bank would review its corporate bond holdings once the coronavirus pandemic was over, but said the BoE was right to provide financial support to a wide range of businesses in an economic emergency.

The BoE holds sterling corporate bonds roughly in proportion to the amount issued on markets.

This means 19% of bonds it holds were issued by electricity companies, 6% by gas companies and 3% by other energy companies, while 11% were issued by industrial and transport businesses that are often energy-intensive too.

Bailey has said financial institutions such as insurers need to pay greater attention to environmental risks and said a green ‘stress test’ of their business models to take place in June.

(Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce)

Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now