Global financial services provider Rabobank Group has said it will not lend money to shale gas companies.
Unless it can be proven that fracking does not harm the environment, the Netherlands’ largest bank will not finance any projects, including those in the already established and reputedly thriving US market.
Marie-Christine Reusken, press officer at Rabobank confirmed to RTCC that its North America office will also “not lend to any entity engaged in fracking”.
This decision is expected to have the most impact on the bank’s operations in the US, where it is the main lender to farmers who have led the shale gas revolution in the country. In the US, landowners have the rights to the oil that has been drilled.
In the Netherlands, a number of local councils, water boards and even brewing groups like Heineken have come out against the production of shale gas because of the risk of pollution.
Last week, Claudia Belahmidi, an analyst at IHS Energy said shale gas could actually benefit the UK in helping the country hit its carbon target if fracking was used to replace coal.
RTCC contacted the Royal Bank of Scotland and The Cooperative Bank to ascertain whether other financial institutions would be introducing similar policies. Neither were available for comment.