Banks provide billions for Dirty Diesel traders while failing to act on human rights, says new briefing
- Of 26 banks contacted, not one has pressured companies over toxic fuel exports to Africa
BankTrack is the international tracking, campaigning and support organisation focused on banks and the activities they finance.
We aim to promote fundamental changes in the banking sector so that banks adopt just and sustainable business practices.
Johan Frijns - BankTrack
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 employs 52,000 employees and offers retail and commercial banking services to customers in over 40 countries.
1102 MG Amsterdam
Ralph Hamers |
Annual report 2016|
Annual report 2015
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The Equator Principles are a voluntary commitment of banks to try to avoid or minimise the social, environmental and human rights impact of projects they finance. For more information on the Equator Principles see their website here and the campaign page of BankTrack here.
The Equator Principles exist already since 2003. ING adopted the Equator Principles in 2003.
ING reports annually on their implementation of the Equator Principles. The 2015 report can be found here.
ING further reports on its portfolio of projects financed under the Equator Principles on the Equator Principles website, here.
ING is involved in financing the following Equator Principles projects that BankTrack considers controversial.
True leader Front runner Follower Laggard
BankTrack has assessed ING on its implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in June 2016. ING is assessed as a Follower, with a total score of 5.5/12.
ING is reporting on the implementation here.
You may also want to directly contact the department of ING that is responsible for the Equator Principles (keep us informed):
In March 2017, Dutch bank ING announced the sale of the USD 120 million share of loan debt in the highly controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). ING already dumped its shares in the DAPL project companies earlier this year, and decided to sell the loan debt after engagemnent with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The bank has also committed to advocate for Indigenous rights in future project financing. See here for BankTrack's reaction.
In November 2016, BankTrack coordinated a global call on the 17 banks behind a loan to DAPL to halt further loan disbursements. In February 2017 this was supported by petitions signed by over 700,000 people. While the disbursements ultimately went ahead, in February ABN AMRO, ING, BayernLB and Nordea all announced they would step away from financing the project or its backers. ABN AMRO committed to end its financing for Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) if the pipeline proceeds without consent from the Standing Rock Sioux or with further violence. Nordea excluded three companies behind the Dakota Access Pipeline from investment. BayernLB stated it will withdraw from financing DAPL at the earliest opportunity, and not provide further finance.
In March, ING became the first bank to sell its portion of a project loan to the pipeline. A good move followed by DNB (entered into an agreement to sell its part of the loan) and by BNP Paribas (sold its part of the loan in April).
In 2015, US bank PNC, UK bank Barclays and Dutch bank ING all announced new commitments to cut finance for the controversial practice of mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining. These banks join JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, RBS, BNP Paribas, and UBS - banks that have already committed to cut ties with firms that specialize in mountaintop removal.
In May, Bank of America and Crédit Agricole became the first major banks to announce plans to stop financing coal mining. These announcements marked a hugely significant win and a breakthrough moment in the fight to end financing for the coal industry. The second half of 2015, in the run-up to the make-or-break UN climate change conference in Paris, then saw important coal finance restrictions being announced by institutions including Citi, Natixis, Goldman Sachs, Société Générale, BNP Paribas, ING and RBS. All these moves are captured here – significantly, a number of banks have chosen not just to get out of coal mining, but are also extending into ending their support for coal power.
In 2013 the seven-strong Thun Group of Banks' produced a discussion paper on banks' responsibilities under new UN human rights guidelines. BankTrack's response to the paper highlighted that the banks had failed to address their responsibility to provide access to remedy to victims of human rights abuses. After we pushed the point further at a conference with the banks in 2014, they agreed to "explore options for addressing ... access to remedy." We look forward to the outcome.
The Center for Human Rights and Environment (CEDHA) in Argentina threw its support behind the ongoing campaign to stop the controversial Botnia paper mill in Uruguay and lodged the world's first ever Equator Principle compliance complaint against ING Group. ING subsequently withdrew its share in a US$480m finance package for the mill. After Nordea Bank stepped in to replace ING, CEDHA filed an OECD complaint, which (although not upheld) firmly established the applicability of the Guidelines to the finance sector. Sadly, the pulp mill was built and is now in operation.