The Texas office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating whether lenders are providing regulators and investors different versions of their policies on working with fossil fuel, gun and other companies, Reuters reported. 

The news outlet, citing two sources, reported the office’s enforcement staff sent letters to a number of banks that have served as underwriters asking them to provide proof they are following the policies on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues published in their public disclosures.

Reuters could not determine the number of banks who were sent letters by the SEC or if only those who filed public certifications in Texas ones in which companies say that they will not engage in discriminatory practices against firearm companies or “boycott” energy companies were under federal scrutiny.


A SEC spokesperson declined to comment to The Hill when asked about the Reuters report.

The preliminary probe comes as lenders appear to be caught in the middle between the interests of investors and state policies. 

While some banks have taken on positions regarding regarding fossil fuel financing or involvement in racial equity work following pushes from their workforce or investors, banks that have discriminatory policies over fossil fuel companies and gunmakers are not allowed to work with state agencies under several Texas laws, Reuters noted.