Liisa and friend Miriam cut up their cards after closing accounts.
Liisa and friend Miriam cut up their cards after closing accounts. Seen Australia

Climate action protest in Coffs CBD against 'Big Four' banks

PROTESTERS closed accounts at Coffs Harbour's 'Big Four' banks as part of action being taken against funding of fossil fuel projects.

About 15 residents allied with Coffs Harbour Climate Action Group participated in Australia's first National Days of Divestment action which saw over 2000 customers nationally shut down their accounts with Westpac, ANZ, NAB and the Commonwealth Bank.

Residents gathered in Coffs CBD at lunch time on Friday wearing protest T-shirts before continuing to their banks to shut down accounts.

One protester, Liisa Rusanen, said she'd been concerned about climate change for some time and after discovering her bank was involved in funding the fossil fuel industry, decided it was time to switch.

"I closed three accounts, including a savings account I've had since I was five-years-old," Liisa said.

"I feel really good that my money is now in a bank which invests locally in a socially responsible way."

According to campaign organisers 350.org Australia, since May 2013, hundreds of customers have pledged to move more than $120 million out of the Big Four banks unless they commit to ruling out future loans to coal and gas projects.

"Through this action we are sending a message to the banks that companies are losing their social license to profit from pollution," campaign director Charlotte Wood said.

"While climate change may seem like a daunting challenge, shutting down your bank account is something which every Australian can do to take a stand against fossil fuel expansion."