(Reuters) – A Texas official on Monday added HSBC Holdings to an energy sanctions list, widening a crackdown on companies which in the state’s view are too focused on energy transition.
Republican-led U.S. states have alleged companies are prioritizing environmental, social and governance policies (ESG) over their financial responsibilities to their shareholders.
The move could prohibit Texas’ governmental entities from investing in one of Europe’s biggest banks.
“HSBC’s new energy policy is a prime example of a broader movement in the financial sector to push a social agenda and prioritize political goals over the economic health of their clients,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said.
Florida’s chief financial officer said in December his department would pull $2 billion worth of its assets managed by BlackRock Inc, a sizeable divestment by a state opposed to the asset manager’s ESG policies.
(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)