Canada’s largest industrial financial institution is dealing with an investigation by the Competitors Bureau of Canada over allegedly misleading promoting associated to its local weather motion, the federal watchdog confirmed on Tuesday.
In response to a Sept. 29 letter from the bureau obtained by Yahoo Finance Canada, Royal Financial institution of Canada is below an investigation associated to “sure advertising practices” on the financial institution. The letter is addressed to attorneys at Ecojustice, a non-profit environmental legislation group, that beforehand filed a criticism with the bureau.
“The inquiry seeks to find out the details referring to allegations that RBC has contravened the Act by making false or deceptive environmental representations,” the letter reads partially.
Competitors Bureau spokesperson Marie-Christine Vézina confirmed an investigation into RBC’s alleged misleading advertising was initiated on the request of six Canadian residents. She declined to offer additional particulars, citing the company’s obligation to work confidentially.
An investigation by the Competitors Bureau of Canada is just not proof of wrongdoing. No claims have been confirmed, and no costs have been laid.
In an emailed assertion Royal Financial institution mentioned it “strongly disagrees” with the allegations within the criticism, calling them “unfounded and never in step with Canada’s local weather plan.”
“RBC has been partaking with our shoppers, companions and different stakeholders, working in the direction of options to assist Canada meet its net-zero commitments,” wrote Andrew Block, the financial institution’s senior director for local weather communication. “It is critically necessary that we get the transition to net-zero proper with a purpose to tackle local weather change, and we now have taken a measured, considerate, and deliberate method in our local weather technique.”
Ecojustice lawyer Matt Hulse says RBC’s ongoing dealings within the oil and gasoline business are at odds with its acknowledged local weather technique.
“RBC has claimed that it’ll obtain net-zero in its lending and investments by 2050 and can come out with targets and plans over the following two years,” he mentioned in an emailed assertion. “This dedication is undermined by RBC’s continued financing of fossil fuels and its failure to account for the majority of emissions from the fossil gas corporations that it funds.”
In response to Ecojustice, RBC’s financing of fossil gas corporations in 2021 topped $34.4 billion in loans and underwriting, and included $50.4 billion in investments. In October of that yr, RBC turned a member of the UN-backed Internet-Zero Banking Alliance, a dedication to align lending and funding practices with reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
John Yorke, CEO of the advertising company Rain43, says it is unlucky that important client backlash is unlikely.
“No person goes to take their cash out of RBC,” he mentioned by cellphone on Tuesday. “The one method it has a giant impact is that if the Competitors Bureau comes down actually arduous and makes a giant deal of it, which I can not see occurring.”
Adam Zimmerman, a senior competitors legislation officer with the bureau, whose title and signature are included within the doc obtained by Yahoo Finance Canadadeclined to touch upon the matter.
The Toronto Star newspaper reported in April that two environmental teams, together with Ecojustice, requested the Competitors Bureau to research the financial institution over allegedly deceptive promoting concerning its local weather commitments.
Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Comply with him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.
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