A LEADING charity has welcomed the decision by RBS to stop financing new coal projects and the exploration and extraction of tar sands.

The bank has banned project finance to a range of fossil fuel projects but will continue to provide general lending to coal companies, although with tighter restrictions.

Sally Foster-Fulton, head of Christian Aid Scotland, said: “This is welcome news here in Scotland where many Christian Aid supporters have urged RBS to grasp this vital opportunity to shift finance away from fossil fuels and into more sustainable alternatives.

“The efforts of our campaigners, many of whom have visited local branches and written to the banks directly, have paid off with this encouraging step in the right direction”.

The charity’s senior private sector adviser, Keval Bharadia, said RBS had pipped other banks, and added: “We now need to see Barclays and HSBC follow suit and join the ranks of responsible project lenders.”