The move is part of the bank’s efforts to support the low carbon economy transition and will apply globally, except for three countries where projects may be given exemption “if no reasonable energy alternative can be found”.
The bank said a “targeted and time-limited exception” will apply to the three nations to “appropriately balance local humanitarian needs with the need to transition to a low carbon economy”.
It will support new coal projects in the countries on a case-by-case basis and only where a carbon intensity target is met and independent analysis finds no reasonable alternative is available to meet the country’s energy needs.
The new policy would exclude HSBC from providing project financing for the controversial Keystone XL and Line 3 Expansion pipelines.
HSBC has also pledged not to provide financing for new offshore oil and gas projects in the Arctic and new greenfield oil sands projects.
It previously set a target to source 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2030.