The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School


Texas ousts Barclays over net-zero policies, raising bond market concerns

Outlet: S&P Global


Barclays played a relatively small role in the booming Texas muni market. In 2023, the bank’s market share was 3%, accounting for about $2 billion of nearly $60 billion issued in municipal bonds, said Daniel Garrett, an assistant finance professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Still, the state’s decision to bar underwriters could have a cumulative impact, Garrett said in an interview. Municipal underwriting for Texas towns is already limited because the borrowing market is segmented by laws and regulations that vary from state to state, he said.

“We know what direction this pushes costs for Texas borrowers — it pushes costs up,” Garrett said.

Garrett co-authored a 2022 report estimating that municipalities and other public entities in Texas would pay between $303 million and $532 million more in interest on the $32 billion they borrowed during the first eight months after Texas passed two laws prohibiting environmental, social and governance investment criteria.