Rogue backbencher George Christensen has attempted to put major banks on notice for climate change policies.
On Friday, Mr Christensen who chairs a committee into Australia's trade exports tried to slam the big four over net zero emission pledges, which includes divesting from the thermal coal industry.
The Queensland Liberal Nationals MP, which has previously sided with Craig Kelly on spreading COVID-19 misinformation during the pandemic, attempted to school Westpac that its stance on divestment based on financial risks means the bank would stop providing residential mortgage lending.
"Has Westpac, given the growing risk in that sector of the housing bubble perhaps collapsing in the future made moves to exit from mortgages," Mr Christensen said.
The chair then tried to delineate the banks would never throw away home lending and the pull out from thermal coal was entirely politically driven.
"It's politically acceptable to exit from a thermal coal mining sector which is a legal industry," he said.
"Is that the reason ... all the banks ... would exit from one market or the other."
Westpac institutional chief executive, Anthony Miller responded by saying the fundamental underlying risks associated with mortgage lending are completely different from the thermal coal sector.
"The overall outlook for residential mortgage lending in Australia is positive," Mr MIller said.
"In overall outlook for thermal coal , longer term is less positive and we've made a decision from a risk perspective ... that that's not where we want to be exposed."
Westpac during the hearing said it only has two thermal coal companies as business bank clients, with lending exposure to the sector sitting at approximately $250 million.
According to Westpac's most recent financial results, residential lending makes up around $11bn of its loan book.
Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and NAB have also pledged to divest from certain fossil fuel sectors, as part of net zero emissions pledges.
Australia's prudential regulator has also provided guidance to banks about the need to factor in climate into its respective risk settings.
It was also heard that all four banks have not made decisions if they will provide financing to any gas projects in the Beetaloo basin.
It is understood none have been contacted for consultation regarding future financing.