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Don’t be fooled by Woke Capitalism
So Natwest Bank has been in a bit of a muddle following the recent revelation that their Coutts Bank had dumped Brexit architect Nigel Farage, seemingly because the exclusive bank’s bosses disagreed with his political views.
The Natwest chief Dame Alison Rose has fallen on her sword, after almost a billion pounds was wiped off the bank’s share price. A story run by the BBC that Mr Farage had been dropped by the posh bank because he didn’t meet its wealth threshold… turned out to be untrue. Dame Rose was culpable and has gone, and has now been followed by Coutts boss Peter Flavel.
So when and why did the banks become so ‘right on’?
Not so long ago the financial institutions were public enemy number one, blamed, at least in part, for the global financial crash in 2008; but last week they were being cheered by the people who so hated them, when Natwest stuck it up Mr Farage. And these days, if you can find a bank open you can hardly move for rainbow flags and inclusive messaging. So have the arch capitalists finally started to sneak towards the left?
No board of directors in the private sector will do anything which is not potentially profitable; their very existence depends on it. And the big four banks had diversity targets over a quarter of a century ago. For all its faults, the private sector realised that a leadership team with a diverse range of backgrounds can strengthen a business in many ways, not least the bottom line.
And they know how to read a market. Banks will gamble on students, knowing that many of them will come good in time and become valuable customers; so the banks’ brand managers ensure that their bosses can see eye to eye with Gen Z.
The other point, of course, is that while the news is dominated by bank bosses holding progressive political views, there is little attention on the huge profits they continue to make and chunky bonuses they pay (Natwest apart) – a handy diversion tactic.
And then there is the Net Zero industry, which is on target to be worth $26 Trillion up to 2030, according to the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. A lot of people are making a lot of money from what started off as a good cause. While the Conservative government ponders whether it wants another term in office and, if so, whether they can possibly win an election by distancing themselves from the Net Zero push, that won’t stop big and small business from cashing in.
Pension and investment funds are shifting money into greener industries and the western world is banking on the industry to grow richer. Do Tesla bosses really believe we can hit Net Zero by 2030 and, if so, will it make a difference? And do they care?
Not when they can knock out a Model 3 for $59k and a Model X for $111 they don’t.
The banks are getting involved in the green movement too bless them, offering to calculate their customers’ carbon footprint by looking at how they spend their money. Always start the week with a bit of greenwashing.
As the richest nations become ever richer, just by moving into new areas and watching the trends, in the poorest countries in the world, 1,400,000 lives a year are lost to Tuberculosis. By spending around £5 billion (well targeted) annually we could save around a million lives a year.
But we don’t; because the return on investment would take too long. That is to say…there is no quick profit in it.
Just think on that.
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