AGM 2015 Proxy Voting

Move KCLSU's Money

Please click below to view the full motion document.

Proposed by:

Alberto Torres, Tytus Murphy, Aysha Strachan, Aneesa Rahman

Student Number:

1214321, 0807029, 1222564, 1234068

Zone:

Welfare and Community

This Union notes :

 

1.      That KCLSU reaffirmed at the start of this year its commitment to ethics and fighting Climate Change after the Ethical Policy was passed at the council’s first meeting.[1]

2.      That KCLSU’s currently banks with National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest), who is part of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)[2]

3.      That RBS is the bank with the 4th largest share of assets in fossil fuel extraction, an amount of 14,419.32 million pounds according to moveyourmoney.org. Similarly, taxpayer funded RBS staff bonuses were nearly £1 billion in 2010, even though RBS reported losses of £1.1 billion for 2010.[3][4]

4.      This seems to contravene KCLSU’s ethical policy, which clearly outlines “environmental destruction” and “Ethical Investment (e.g. banking and pensions)” as part of its scope and issues that may lead to KCLSU not dealing with the company. Similarly this contravenes KCLSU’s position towards fossil fuels outlined in the “Fossil Fuels” motion passed last year. [5]

5.      That People and Planet report has found RBS is the biggest lender to companies operating tar sands extraction projects in Canada, to the tune of more than $7.5 billion.[6]

6.      That the NUS has before threatened to stop banking with NatWest and “…seek alternative, more ethical banking options”, and several Student Unions around the UK have joined this call, such as Westminster and Edinburgh University .[7]

7.      That all the big banks such as Barcalys, HSBC and Lloyds have been fined for falling foul of regulators and anti-money laundering rules.[8]

This Union Believes:

 

1.      That consumers and for instance student unions can put pressure on organisations which act in an environmentally irresponsible and unethical manner.

2.      That there are banks but especially building associations that are safe, ethical, and have a specific commitment to not lend or profit from the fossil fuel industry, as shown by moveyourmoney.org; for example the Co-operative or Nationwide.

3.      That funding and supporting fossil fuel extraction programmes, as NatWest

does, contributes to Climate Change and global warming.

4.      That funding banks that are “too big to fail”, only encourages those rogue activities that brought the world economy to a standstill in 2008 and of which consequences we are still suffering today, through austerity and expensive education fees.

5.      That NatWest’s and RBS’s support for these programmes are incompatible with our strong environmental and ethical commitment as outlined in our Ethical Policy

This Union Resolves:

1.      To investigate the options of changing to an alternative more ethical bank as part of KCLSU’s current comprehensive internal review of KCLSU’s ethical activities.

2.      To mandate the President to write to NatWest’s Chairman,

a)     Informing him of our commitment to the environment, and expressing our view that this commitment is incompatible with significant parts of RBS’s investment strategies.

b)     To inform him that we shall consider other, more ethical banking options, and will move accounts should we find a better alternative.

c)      To urge RBS to stop profiting from the fossil fuel industry.

3.      To report to students through its website and the Ethics Board the result of the investigation and announce whether KCLSU will be changing its bank provider and why. Should KCLSU not be able to change its bank it will produce to give a public, reasonable justification for not doing so.

Date this policy should  lapse (maximum 2 years):

29/01/15