Oklahoma adds Barclays to list of banned muni underwriters

Bonds

Oklahoma’s list of investment banks determined to be “boycotting” the fossil fuel industry expanded with the addition of Barclays, making it ineligible for state and local government contracts, State Treasurer Todd Russ announced Friday. 

Barclays joins Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo, which were placed on the list last year under the state’s 2022 Energy Discrimination Elimination Act and lost their ability to underwrite debt sold by the state, cities, counties and other governmental issuers if contracts for that service totaled $100,000 or more.  

“The third installment of this list shows progress in the state contending with companies targeting Oklahoma industry and ultimately Oklahoma jobs,” Russ said in a statement.

“The third installment of this list shows progress in the state contending with companies targeting Oklahoma industry and ultimately Oklahoma jobs,” Oklahoma Treasurer Todd Russ said in a statement.

Oklahoma Treasurer’s Office

It added that Barclays was involved in direct financial boycotts of energy groups. 

“They are targeting coal mining and power companies stating that ‘from 2024 we will no longer provide project finance, or other direct finance to energy companies, for new upstream oil and gas projects or related infrastructure,'” the statement said. ”By January 2025, Barclays PLC ‘expect[s] all energy groups to produce transition plans and decarbonization strategies’ far exceeding Oklahoma’s requirements.”

Barclays declined to comment. It led a $230.46 million Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma general revenue bond sale that priced in April, according to LSEG data. 

In January, the bank was banned in Texas by Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office under a similar law enacted in 2021.

A study released last month found Oklahoma’s law boosted municipalities borrowing costs by 59 basis points on average.

An effort to apply the act only to state agencies failed in the state legislature. Senate Bill 1510 passed the Senate in a 42-1 February vote, but fell short of passage in the House in a 40-44 vote on April 25.

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