Banks are intruding into agricultural emissions policy, whether we voted for it or not.

It's time for Parliament to haul them in and sort them out.
Tell the banks to back off

Since we started this campaign, the Government has requested that the Primary Production Committee open an inquiry into rural banking – which is great news. This means an inquiry will almost certainly be voted through when the committee next meets.

But what the inquiry covers (called the terms of reference) are still yet to be decided and we need to make sure that the way banks treat agricultural emissions is a part of the inquiry.

Tell the MPs their inquiry must consider the banks’ emissions incentives.

Banks are becoming another enforcement agent to punish farmers for emissions, just when the Government is coming around on the facts about how agricultural emissions are a cycle and different to other industries.

Pushed by mandatory disclosure regulations about their lending portfolios’ emissions profiles and then the policies of foreign groups like the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, banks are starting to demand emissions information from farmers, and we hear they’re denying farmers credit to keep their emissions profile down.

This is on top of rural lending interest rates running at a 2% premium to other lending, with no justification from increased risks or costs.

It’s time to tell the banks to back off, and the National/ACT majority on the Primary Production Committee means we have the opportunity to get a full parliamentary inquiry into rural banking.

Tell the banks to back off

About the campaign.

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What would an inquiry achieve?

A formal inquiry by Parliament can force organisations to turn up and explain themselves and allow everyone to submit about their issues to the committee, so MPs get direct feedback about how the system works.

Select committee reports can turn into changes to regulations and the law, as they provide authoritative findings for ministers and MPs to act on.

Aren't MPs already looking into this?

The Primary Production Committee has been holding a briefing into rural banking, but we need a proper inquiry. Briefings are just for getting information, but an inquiry could force cooperation, open up participation to everyone, and produce an authoritative report for future changes.

Isn't this just a commercial issue for farmers to deal with?

These problems aren’t being caused by market forces – it’s government policy and pressure from anti-food production campaigners. It also affects everyone, as tougher regulations on farmers, wherever they come from, mean higher food prices.

Are banks just enabling government policy?

Agricultural emissions are a complicated and evolving science and even the relevant government departments struggle with it. Case in point, the Government is about to hold a review of methane science because so much is up in the air. Banks are not equipped to make decisions on emissions and are basing their calculations on outdated models.

Tell the banks to back off.

Use our tool to send an email to the government members of the Primary Production Committee asking them to hold a formal inquiry into rural banking and tell the banks to back off.

Send your email

This campaign has now concluded.

Thank you to everyone who sent an email. An inquiry into rural banking has been opened, but the specific terms of reference are still to be decided. Groundswell will continue to hold the banks accountable.

Stay updated on this campaign and our work by signing up for email updates here on our website.