In an advertisement showcasing their climate policy called ‘How we take action to fight climate change’, ING gives off the impression that they are doing everything they can to curb the climate crisis. By funding green projects and companies around the world with billions of euros, for example. But this advert is misleading. ING fails to mention that the bank still pours significantly more money into fossil companies: three times as much in 2021. The video highlights that one green euro, but completely ignores the three euros flowing to fossil fuels. And those euros, or rather billions, are actually worsening the climate crisis.
The watchdog found that leaving out the ratio between green and fossil fuel funding violates the Advertising Code. By only mentioning green projects and hiding information on fossil financing, the consumer gets a far too rosy picture and cannot make a well-informed decision to start, or continue, banking with ING. The watchdog therefore insisted that ING stops advertising in this way.
This is the second time in 2023 that ING has been taken to task by the advertising watchdog. In May, it ruled about an older video that ING must also provide information about their fossil funding when making ads about climate policy. In this new video, ING added that besides green projects, they also finance non-green projects. The watchdog now ruled that this modification is insufficient: information about the ratio cannot be left out.
This new ruling follows an international trend, as banks outside the Netherlands are also being challenged on similar greenwashing campaigns. The British HSBC, for example, was reprimanded by the local advertising watchdog last year: they are not allowed to boast about their green financing while the bank communicates nothing about the billions they pump into oil, coal and gas companies.
We will continue actions against ING's greenwashing. Do you want to help expose ING's green deceptions? Sign up for our Stop GreenwashING Group.