Donnerstag, Februar 26, 2009

Insanity...or Corporate Responsibility Gone Seriously Wrong

This is more than a little curious.

You've got a UK finance group that wants to invest your money in an "ethical way". To quote from their web site here:

When choosing companies to invest in, most fund providers just analyse the financial performance of a company. We are the only UK fund manager to also analyse social, ethical, environmental and other company management issues (eg 'fat cat' pay) across all the funds we manage.

Now, that's just fine and dandy: if you want to include that in your investment portfolio for political reasons, fine.

But that is not what the group is now doing. Instead, they are starting what must be considered a political campaign against oil sands.

If I were an investor, I'd be pulling my money out of that group ASAP: instead of investing your money, they're taking 50 thousand pounds sterling and are financing the research aimed at providing the rationale to block development of Canadian oil sands. Overall, they're taking 500 000 pounds sterling to "fight toxic fuels".

That is insanity: this is "corporate responsibility" gone completely, stonk raving mad. This is an investment company that is going political with other's money.

It's one thing to invest in solar and wind, to finance "good" things. It's another thing entirely when your actions are designed to stop business activity, and it is especially appalling to do it far from where the negative impact will be felt.

And it is in direct contradiction to this statement, found here:

Our firmly embedded responsible lending policy reflects our belief that as customers and members, it's your money first and foremost, and you have a right to expect good stewardship.

The Bank's financial position is strong, which is reflected in our credit ratings. We also have one of the highest liquidity ratios in the marketplace – that is, our assets are relatively easy to convert into cash should we need to. On top of this the Bank is well capitalised, i.e. we have a good cushion of reserves.

The Bank maintains a prudent approach to lending, and its underwriting and arrears management processes are subject to regular review and improvements. The Bank's loan books are high quality with low Loan to Value ratios, which provide significant protection against future falls in property values.

The choice to fund a politically-motivated campaign against "toxic fuels" doesn't reflect good stewardship in these challenging times. It reflects, if anything, appalling stewardship that places politically motivated ecological activism above good banking practices.

Keine Kommentare: