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  • Writer's pictureGregory Andrews

Why I Ditched ANZ And It's Dirty Money

Updated: May 31

At a time when climate records are breaking daily, the choices we make count more than ever. That's why I just switched my banking from ANZ to Bank Australia. My decision wasn't a light one. I was with ANZ for almost 30 years. But as someone who cares about a safe future for our kids and county, and thinks about the impacts of my choices, it became clear to me that I couldn't stay with a bank that persists with major fossil fuel investment.

The Financial Footprint Of Fossil Fuels

The recent report Banking on Climate Chaos revealed the startling reality: ANZ invested a staggering $25.3 billion in fossil fuels from 2016 to 2023. This places it, not just as a participant, but as a global leader in financing destruction of our planet and future.

Reading the report was a wake-up call for me. Banks that support the fossil fuel industry, directly facilitate global warming, deforestation, water pollution, and extinctions. By lending to destructive industries, ANZ is going against the science and our national and ecological interests and security. National Australia Bank, Westpac, and the Commonwealth Bank are almost as bad. They're also major fossil fuel investors. Collectively, these big four Australian banks have invested over $70 billion in fossil fuels over the last eight years.

My Shift To Bank Australia

Searching for alternatives, I discovered Bank Australia which aligns with my environmental and ethical standards. Bank Australia refuses to invest in fossil fuels. It focuses instead on activities with positive environmental impacts, such as renewable energy and conservation.

Ditching ANZ was a decision that extended beyond who handles my money; it was a choice about what my money supports. Every dollar in a bank account can, after all, be leveraged for loans and investments. I wanted my money to support a safe and clean future.

Take A Stand Against Dirty Money

"Dirty money" is a term that resonates deeply with me. It's funds invested in industries that pollute and degrade our planet. It's money that destroys our kids' and our country's futures. By banking with ANZ, my money was inadvertently doing that. It was supporting projects that contradicted my values. Shifting to Bank Australia is my stand against this - it is a personal action I have taken to ensure my finances support my convictions.

This move is not just personal; it's a call to action. I hope by sharing my decision I can inspire more Australians to scrutinise where their money sleeps at night. We have the power to influence the banks. They notice when their customers shift their money. Choosing a bank that prioritises the environment can be a powerful step. It sends a message to the likes of ANZ, NAB, Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank to reconsider their dirty money strategies.

Changing banks wasn't an administrative picnic. The paperwork and changes to all my regular payments were a drag. But once completed, it felt totally worth it! I have now reclaimed agency over how my financial activities affect the world. My finances align with my values. My money no longer supports the fossil fuel industry. My money is now part of the solution.

If you're with a bank that invests in dirty money, please make the switch!

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