Briefing

National Bank relies on projects abroad to meet green lending targets

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Louis Vachon, the bank’s CEO, said it can’t find enough projects in Canada to meet its lending targets in renewable energy. Instead, the bank is financing projects in U.S. and Europe, Vachon said at the bank’s annual meeting. It has no plans to reduce lending to the oil and gas sector. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: The National Bank has had mixed results in financing green initiatives, which could help explain its conversatism on the file. It expects to lose money on a $10 million loan owed by Téo Taxi, a Montreal-based electric vehicle company that went bankrupt in 2018, after the company fumbled the development and roll-out of its core technology (the bank’s chances of getting their loan back could change if Pierre Karl Péladeau if successful in reviving Téo). “We have to lend based on the technology that is there,” Vachon told shareholders at the meeting. However, the bank may feel more pressure to make bold decisions on green financing  in the coming months and years, as investors and governments increasingly urge lenders banks to disclose, and grow, their sustainable financing.