Arkansas bans financial firms for discriminating against oil and gas industry


The Arkansas flag is shown in this file photo.



Six investment firms whose ESG policies are considered to be discriminatory against oil and gas have been banned from doing business with Arkansas state agencies.

The Arkansas ESG Oversight Committee voted recently to prevent state investments with Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Canada, TD, UBS and Nomura and their asset management subsidiaries. They have conducted business with the Arkansas state treasury as well as public employee retiremnt funds.

BlackRock, considered one of the largest investment firms in the U.S. and banned from handling state investments in Oklahoma, avoided being put on the banned list in Arkansas.  The committee decided against banning BlackRock because it is a registered investment adviser.

Arkansas has a law similar to the one in Oklahoma. It is called the anti-wode public investment law passed in 2023 and requires the state treasurer to divest the state of direct or indict holdings with the firms.

The Arkansas Committee Chairman David Scott stated that the firms in question will be sent written notices this week. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported the five-member committee took a voice vote after concluding the fix financial firms “discriminate against energy and/or fossil fuel companies based on public statements in providers’ reports.