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HSBC tightens standards on lending to the palm oil industry following Greenpeace report on its links to environmental destruction in Indonesia

Author: Emiko Terazono and Martin Arnold, Financial Times, Published on: 20 February 2017

“HSBC tightens standards on lending to palm oil industry”, 20 Feb 2017

HSBC has tightened its standards on lending to the palm oil industry, pledging that it would cut ties with companies linked to the destruction of rainforests in key production areas.

The new standard, which aligns the UK-based bank with the “no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation” policy adopted by leading palm oil growers, traders and buyers, follows a recent report by Greenpeace which highlighted HSBC’s links with palm oil companies alleged to have been behind deforestation.

In its announcement, which comes a day before the bank releases its annual results...HSBC offered certain deadlines for its clients to make stronger commitments to protect natural forests and peatlands. The bank said it would not “finance unacceptable impacts in this potentially high-risk sector”, adding that it wanted to “ensure that our customers operate in accordance to good international practice” and said it would close relationships with companies which did not meet its standards…

Greenpeace said the bank’s new policy was “a good first step”.

It added: “This also sends a clear signal that other global banks must follow suit.”…

Read the full post here

Related companies: HSBC IOI Group