If you bank with a large Australian financial institution, then it is likely that you are passively contributing to the climate crisis by allowing your bank to use your finances to underwrite fossil fuel exploration and expansion. You can prevent this from happening by moving your money to a socially responsible bank, taking away crucial funding from the fossil fuel industry in the process. Extinction Rebellion Rebels across the globe are taking part in a mass, simultaneous divestment, focusing on our personal bank accounts. We’ll be opening new accounts at fossil-free banks to send a powerful message to the financial industry – a stable climate is priceless. Stop selling our future away for a quick buck and divest now! If you’re interested in participating, you can sign the XR Wingecarribee Divest Petition so we know to keep you updated with important developments. Also, check out and share our how-to divest guide on social media.
Despite several banks, insurers, and investors recently publishing reports detailing the dangers of fossil fuels to a stable climate and a just society, they continue to give precious financial aid to the industry. You can read more about who funds the climate crisis here. Unless your bank explicitly says that it is not funding fossil fuels, you can be almost certain that it is.
But business-as-usual won’t last much longer. In the past decade, the divestment movement has diverted trillions of dollars away from the carbon economy. Without reliable access to credit, the fossil fuel industry will feel greater pressure to change. Many fossil fuel companies, especially fracking firms, are already struggling to stay profitable; if enough money is divested, they will be forced out of business!
One of the best ways you can help pressure banks to stop giving money to the fossil fuel industry is by divesting your own personal funds. It may seem small, but it sends a powerful message, especially when done en masse. A constant dripping of water wears away stone!
Sign The Petition
Despite the urgent need to stop global warming, and the havoc being wreaked on our land, water, air, health and communities, Australia’s biggest banks continue to play a critical role in supporting the dirty fossil industry.
Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, St.George, ANZ, Bank of Queensland and National Australia Bank need to divest from fossil fuels.
Each month, we will send the signatories of this petition to Wingecarribee local bank branches until they stop supporting climate-wrecking, dirty polluters.
Divest Now!Read the petition
How To Divest Your Personal Finances
Divesting your personal finances isn’t too complicated, just a little tedious. We’ve put together a short step-by-step guide on how to move your money. We’re also working to set up a training with a divestment expert who can explain the process in greater detail and answer questions. If you’re interested in that training, please fill out this form.
Step 1: Find a bank that isn’t financing the destruction of the planet
There are two local banks in Wingecarribee to choose from.
- BDCU Alliance Bank make conscious decisions to reduce and offset impact and help others do the same by offering green products and services. BDCU does not currently lend to projects in the coal and coal seam gas sectors and has a commitment to reducing their environmental footprint.
- IMB investment policy precludes investment by IMB in shares and therefore IMB does not hold and shares in companies in the fossil fuel industry. IMB does not have any equity investments in the fossil fuel sector.
You can check out this site for an extended list of socially responsible banks and choose one that works for you.
Step 2: Open an account at a good bank and move some of your money
Each bank will have its own application process. But most banks will take at least a few days to process your application. Once your account is open, you can transfer your money from your old, planet-destroying account to your new, planet-friendly account. Be sure to leave enough money in your old account to cover any scheduled payments that haven’t cleared yet.
Step 3: Update automatic and recurring payments
Most of us have set up recurring online payments, and all of these will need to be updated now that your old account doesn’t have any funding! This is perhaps the most tedious step of the process. Try to think through all of your payments that are linked to your old account – paypal, rent, utility bills, direct deposits, subscriptions for Netflix, etc.
Step 4: Cancel your old credit card, making sure to use or transfer your points and other rewards, and make a new credit card that works with your fossil-free bank
Big banks can offer you the most enticing rewards on your credit card spending. That’s part of their monopoly power. Fossil-free banks are smaller and can’t compete with those rewards, thus most fossil-free banks don’t offer their own credit cards.
If changing credit cards isn’t feasible right now, that’s OK! Credit cards don’t directly contribute to fossil fuel financing in the same way as checking and savings accounts. Fossil fuel financing comes from amounts in checking or savings, so if you need to keep your credit card at your old fossil fuel bank, just try to keep your balances as low as possible. Storing most of your money at a responsible bank is the most important part.
Step 5: Transfer the rest of your money and close your old account
Once you’re certain that all of your outgoing payments are being sourced from your new account, and all of your incoming payments are headed to your new account, you can move the remainder of your money to your new account. Then, the fun part – closing your old account! All banks have different procedures; many will require a phone call or office visit. Make sure to get written confirmation that your account has been closed.
Step 6: Cut up your cards
Don’t forget to take a picture of yourself cutting up your card when you divest from a dirty bank and post it to our Facebook page with the hashtag #XRDivest