Talk to them
in the only language
Withdraw your money and put it in an institution
that better represents your values.
Withdraw your money
& boycott RBC.
I’ve decided to Quit RBC.
How do I choose an alternative?
Congratulations for taking the step to demand accountability from RBC. It’s great to say I Quit RBC! but what do you do then? How do you pick a financial institution that will do better? First off, we cannot pick a bank or credit union or caisse populaire for you, but we can give you some advice.
Favour institutions that limit fossil fuel financing.
RBC leads Canada in financing climate change, but the competition is fierce. Canada’s big five banks (RBC, TD, Scotiabank, BMO and CIBC) are all in the top banks globally for fossil fuel financing (RBC 5th, TD 8th, Scotiabank 10th, BMO 16th and CIBC 21st). So if you’re leaving one to get away from climate catastrophe, it might be best to look elsewhere than those five.
Here are some resources that can help:
Rainforest Action Network’s Banking on Climate Change
Stop the money pipeline - Move Your Money
Favour institutions that have less CO2 emissions per dollar invested.
Another way of looking at how institutions use your money is to look at the carbon footprint per dollar invested. All kinds of investments have carbon footprints, not just fossil fuel companies. So while we want to get away from actively helping finance fossil fuel extraction, some places have lower carbon footprints than others. For example, according to Rainforest Action Network (2008), RBC has a CO2 footprint of 112 grams of CO2 per dollar invested, while Caisse Desjardins has a CO2 footprint of 4 grams per dollar. And VanCity? Less than one gram per dollar.
Choose cooperatives over companies that are accountable to corporate shareholders.
Credit Unions and Caisses populaires are owned by their members, and their managements and boards are accountable to members. They’re not perfect, but that sounds a lot better than big banks where the only accountability is to shareholders and clients are just customers. There are some good banks out there, too, but in general, there’s reason in favouring a cooperative model.
Look at individual institutions’ missions, values, ethics statements, and lending & business practices to make a choice that suits you.
This is really up to you, and it would be up to you to determine how far you want to extend your research. If you followed the three steps above, you’ve already taken your money a long way from RBC!
Here’s an example of a bank in the US with a clear social mission:
Here’s a site that tracks sustainability commitments and dodgy deals financed by a number of banks:
You’ve chosen a new bank/credit union?
Here’s a quick guide to help you move your money.
Everyone’s finances are unique.
Use this checklist as a guide, but be sure to adapt it to your particular circumstances.
Make a list of all the automatic transactions
debited and credited to your account.
Insurance: car, house, health
Kids’ stuff: education, private school, extracurricular activities
Office stuff: rent
Entertainment subscriptions: Netflix, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, etc.
Culture: concerts, museums, theatre
▢ Pay off any credit card debt associated with the old account
▢ Open a new account with your new bank
▢ If you have direct deposit, fill out the papers directing your employer to reroute your paycheques to your new account. Do the same for any other direct deposit
▢ Move enough money into your new account to cover your automatic payments
▢ Change your automatic payments to your new account
▢ Check for any outstanding cheques or other debits scheduled to come out of your old account
▢ Leave enough money in your old account to cover any cheques that haven’t cleared or automatic payments that haven’t been made, to avoid any fees. Move the rest of your money into your new account
▢ Once you’re certain all direct deposits and automatic payments are coming into and going out of your new account, transfer the remaining funds from your old account into your new account. You can do this fastest electronically or by writing yourself a cheque, although there may be a longer wait before it is available in your new account
▢ Once the transfer clears your new account, close the old account. Get written confirmation that the account has been closed
Stop the money pipeline - Move Your Money
[ https://stopthemoneypipeline.com/resources/ ]
Send a message to RBC
and let them know
how furious you are!
There are many ways to tell RBC that it’s time for them to clean up their act. Sending them a message that they’re losing your business because of their connection to fossil fuels is a powerful lever for making them change. You can send that message to them by making the pledge:
Join the rebellion!
You can carry out concrete action to put pressure on RBC. Why not adopt a branch and start a conversation with them? There are several possible strategies.
We’ve prepared a toolkit to inspire you
and help you take action.
GET IN TOUCH!