HSBC bankers and Al Qaeda, drugs bosses and rainforest deforestation

This video from Britain says about itself:

Bill Oddie evicted from HSBC headquarters after protest over bank’s links to logging companies

25 May 2013

Bill Oddie evicted from HSBC headquarters after protest over bank’s links to logging companies blamed for destruction of the rainforest in Malaysia

Campaign group Global Witness releases satirical film featuring BBC presenter

Bill Oddie, the naturalist and BBC television presenter, has made a provocative protest film intended to embarrass the global bank HSBC over its links to logging companies blamed for the destruction of the rainforest in Malaysia.

The presenter of programmes including Springwatch and Wild in Your Garden was evicted from HSBC’s London headquarters while making a film about the bank’s ties to loggers in the state of Sarawak in Borneo, where less than 5% of the rainforests are unaffected by deforestation or palm oil plantations.

The campaign group Global Witness has released the satirical film — called Bankwatch with Bill Oddie – to back a public petition calling on Stuart Gulliver, chief executive of HSBC, to end its relationship with the logging companies which fail to meet the bank’s own sustainability policies.

Clutching his binoculars as he walks about the City of London, Oddie is shown in the film “entering the territory of a creature that’s very closely related to man”, namely “the banker”.

Before he is forcibly ejected by security guards from the “main den” of HSBC headquarters, he makes some scathing observations. “Like most great predators, the HSBC banker sits at the top of the financial food chain totally oblivious to the impact of its appetite on the local eco-system,” he says. “The HSBC banker has a diet which is made up almost exclusively of molluscs and Bollinger so the millions made from logging in Borneo are key to his survival.”

Global Witness last year highlighted that HSBC had provided loans and services to logging companies with close links to the Sarawak chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

“HSBC has made an absolute killing helping some of the world’s worst logging companies get off the ground,” said Oddie. “According to HSBC’s own rules and all the evidence, it shouldn’t be touching them with a bargepole. As a result the last of Borneo’s rainforests are under immediate threat. Everyone needs to sign the petition to stop HSBC profiting from deforestation in Malaysia and beyond, before it’s too late.” …

The Independent recently reported how the state of Sarawak used the British television presenter Ben Fogle to front a tourism propaganda campaign in which he extolled the beauty of the rainforests to potential tourists.

Mr Fogle has said he would not be making any more films for the Sarawak Tourism Board until he received answers to “many questions” he has in relation to recent revelations over deforestation issues in the state .

HSBC, one of the biggest banks in the world, recently became infamous for various things, including links to Al Qaeda and drugs criminals. These are not the only things …

From Wildlife Extra:

HSBC bank found to fund rainforest deforestation

Report shows High Street bank HSBC funds projects in the palm oil industry that threaten the habitat of orangutans and other endangered species.

November 2013: Bank account holders with HSBC have been hit with the relevations that the bank has bankrolled unlawful clearing of rainforest, putting orangutans and other endangered wildlife at risk.

Research conducted by the Environmental Investigation Agency has found that Bumitama Agri Ltd, a company the bank has invested heavily in, forged ahead with rainforest clearance even though it didn’t have the required HCV (High Conservation Value) assessment.

“HSBC’s 60 million customers around the world would be surprised and appalled to learn that such a high-profile and trusted brand is profiting from large-scale deforestation even as it projects a wholesome public image of sustainability,” said EIA Forests Campaigner Jago Wadley.

The bank relies on Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification system, to ensure companies they invest in are environmentally and sustainably sound but this is not good enough says the EIA.

“In our experience, the RSPO lacks credible mechanisms to ensure its members protect High Conservation Value (HCV) forests, and even when such violations are brought to its attention its measures are insufficient to either compensate for the damage or serve as a disincentive,” said Jago. “In effect, HSBC is delegating responsibility for its ethics to a broken system and that’s just not good enough when the future of some of the world’s last remaining precious rainforests and species are at stake.”

And it’s not the only example. The bank has also invested in RSPO member Triputra Agro Persada, which was found by EIA investigators to be clearing an area covered in closed-canopy forests holding rare species of flora and fauna including ulin, or ironwood, and gibbons.

The report calls for HSBC to immediately engage with Bumitama and Triputra to ensure no further clearance occurs prior to HCV assessments.

“HSBC is one of the world’s largest banks and is a key player in the plantation sector,” added Jago. “It now has a clear choice between choosing to be a force for good or to carry on hiding behind a fig leaf of sustainability while making huge profits from deforestation.”

What do you think? Will this stop you banking with HSBC?

HSBC financing deforestation for palm oil in Borneo: here.

HSBC: the bank that likes to say no to Muslim accounts. Finsbury Park mosque and other Islamic groups have been told they no longer satisfy HSBC’s ‘risk appetite’: here.

Whistleblower: HSBC ‘lied to MPs’: here.

How Australian bank financed the heroin trade: here.

Leaked World Bank lending policies ‘environmentally disastrous’ New ‘light touch’ rules on bank’s $50bn annual lending have been gutted to remove protections, watchdogs claim: here.

HSBC HID TRANSACTIONS FOR ACCOUNTS TOTALING OVER $100 BILLION “HSBC’s Swiss banking arm helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of dollars of assets, doling out bundles of untraceable cash and advising clients on how to circumvent domestic tax authorities, according to a huge cache of leaked secret bank account files.” [The Guardian]

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