Instances of organizations and individuals being debanked due to their viewpoints are increasing. PayPal has threatened fines for users promoting “hate” and “misinformation,” a number of major banks are threatening to restrict banking services for businesses in the fossil fuel industry, and some are attempting to punish account holders with mainstream political beliefs.
A prime example of this dangerous trend is JPMorgan Chase’s debanking of the National Committee for Religious Freedom (NCRF)—an incident that former U.S. Ambassador at-large for international religious freedom and NCRF chairman described at The Washington Examiner.
This is why a group of investors and financial professionals with $20 billion under management signed the “Statement on Debanking and Free Speech.” As Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Special Counsel to the President Ryan Bangert writes at The Washington Times, the statement calls on executives in the financial industry to make changes to their policies to counter viewpoint-based discrimination and call on major companies to participate in the survey portion of the Viewpoint Diversity Score 2023 Business Index.
“Many Americans are unaware that their ability to access credit, obtain investment, or even secure employment may be dependent upon whether they are sufficiently ‘woke’ in the view of ESG activists,” Bangert writes. “Moreover, companies truly committed to good corporate governance and social responsibility should welcome the transparency that tools like the Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index provide."
As Bangert lays out in his piece, ESG investing is essentially a social credit score system that ultimately relies on the threat of debanking to force Americans to endorse approved ideological beliefs.
And perhaps most alarming, ESG is now being proposed as a tool to evaluate individual borrowers and investors. According to Diginex, an ESG advisory firm, a personal ESG score “works like a credit score,” marking a person with an inadequate ESG score as one who “cannot be entrusted with a task that requires a high focus on responsibility.” “Therefore, only the person with a high personal ESG score gets the opportunity for employment, partnership, or investment, among other corporate opportunities.”
Use of ESG in this way threatens to implement in America through the private sector what China has implemented via its state-created “social credit system.” This use of ESG credit scores threatens to implement through corporate and financial totalitarianism what [illiberal activists] have not been able to achieve through the traditional levers of government power.
Read Bangert’s piece in full here.