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BankTrack members unveil bank secrets

Six European organizations launch a revealing website:
By CRBM | Brussels, Jun 25 2009

Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mundiale (Italy), Friends of the Earth (France), Netwerk Vlaanderen (Belgium), Platform (UK), SETEM (Spain) and Urgewald (Germany) expose investments in harmful practices and companies of thirteen large European banks in this new website.  Despite of the banking crisis, financial institutions continue to do harmful investments in a sphere of secrecy. To expose banks´ secrets, activists ‘undressed the banks' by staging parallel theatrical activities in the main European capitals. 

Recent research done by these members of the BankTrack network uncovers the links between banks and blacklisted companies supporting dictators, causing irreversible environmental damage or producing indiscriminate weaponry, such as cluster munitions, The thirteen researched banks together invest 39.6 billion euros in 14 such companies and projects.

From  2005 to 2009, Banco Santander, Barclays, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, HSBC, RBS, Société générale and Unicredit, invested massively in 14 blacklisted companies such as the cluster munition producer Textron, the Chinese oil company Petrochina and the Indian mining company Vedanta Resources.

The thirteen banks have financed 11,4 billion euros in loans to the 14 blacklisted companies as well as arranged and underwritten bond and share issues for a total value of 10,5 billion euros. In addition, the thirteen banks own or manage 17,7 billion euros of shares in the researched companies.

"These kind of harmful investments can no longer be tolerated. We think that financial institutions should take important environmental and human rights norms into consideration in their investment decisions. We ask for an ethical bottom line: no money for dictators, serious environmental destruction, controversial arms or violations of human rights."

"Investors should not wait until they are found legally responsible for the violations of human rights and serious environmental damage. They should make sure they don't generate profit from such controversial practices. Financial institutions have a huge leverage power and can contribute to positive change", said Mathias Bienstman from Netwerk Vlaanderen.

The website offers a world map illustrating the harmful investments of European banks, bank profiles and information on the financial links between the companies and the banks.  The site also offers the possibility to send an e-card to the bank CEO and learn more about Ethical Banking as a sustainable option. 




Mathias Bienstman, Netwerk Vlaanderen:
tel: +32 (0)2/201.07.70,  mobile:+32 (0)495/83.22.73

Banca Armada Website

Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management…
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), is a multinational Spanish banking group. It was formed in 1999 from a merger of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya and Argentaria. It provides financial…
BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas is one of the main banks in Europe. It was created on 23 May 2000 through the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) and Paribas.…
Citigroup Inc., doing business as Citi, is a major American financial services company based in New York, NY. Citigroup was formed from a merger between Citicorp and financial…
Crédit Agricole
The Crédit Agricole Group is a unified but decentralised group consisting of 39 Regional Banks, Crédit Agricole S.A. and many subsidiaries. It includes Crédit…
Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank was founded in 1870 and is a leading global investment bank. It has operations throughout the world and has a strong presence in Germany and Europe. The bank´s…
Headquartered in London, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world. HSBC operates from around 6,100 offices in 72 countries and…
ING (an abbreviation of Internationale Nederlanden Groep) is a Netherlands based international financial services company and one of the world's largest savings banks. ING…
Intesa Sanpaolo
Intesa Sanpaolo is a banking group resulting from the merger at January 1, 2007 between Banca Intesa and Sanpaolo IMI. It has a strong international presence focused on Central-Eastern…
RBS was founded in 1727 and is one of the major UK banks. RBS has 40 million customers using the financial services of over 30 brands, including NatWest, Direct Line, Churchill,…
Banco Santandar S.A., founded in 1857 in Santander, Spain. The group has expanded since 2000 through a number of acquisitions, with operations across Europe, Latin America,…
Société Générale
Société Générale ("SocGen") is one of the oldest banks in France, dating back to 1864. The original name was Société…
The UniCredit Group is the result of the merger of nine of Italy's largest banks and the subsequent combination with the German HVB Group and the Italian Capitalia Group.…

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