Many global observers scratch their heads at why Canada’s big banks continue to double or triple down on an industry most are distancing themselves from, for climate if not for purely economic reasons. The National Observer offers a critical answer via a significant investigation into the ties between banks and the fossil fuel sector.

They found that nearly 1 out of every 5 directors at Canada’s banks have connections to fossil fuel companies. This means that the very top strategic leadership of banks “must act in the best interests of both a bank and a fossil fuel company at precisely the same time the world must transition away from fossil fuels to protect the planet.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Will Canada’s banks get their act together on climate — and who are the money men and women tasked with making it happen?

The answer reveals deep connections between Canada’s largest banks and the fossil fuel industry that pose significant barriers to climate action. To understand how a bank’s board of directors is influenced, Canada’s National Observer combed through the directors of Canada’s five largest banks — RBC, TD, Scotiabank, BMO and CIBC — and found one in five also serves on the board of a fossil fuel company, the industry most responsible for driving climate change. Thirteen of 63 bank directors have direct fossil fuel connections, the findings reveal, with at least one fossil-linked director serving on each of the Big 5 banks’ boards.

Read the full investigation at the National Observer website here.