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4 Mar 2019

Fair Action (Sweden), Fair Finance Guide International, The Future in Our Hands (Norway)

Bangladesh: Banks fail to hold H&M accountable to living wage promises, says Fair Action report

"Shareholders of H&M fail to take responsibility for garment workers’ wages", 31 January 2019

H&M did not keep the promise to make it possible for 850 000 garment workers to earn a living wage by 2018. Several Nordic banks are among H&M’s largest owners...However, the banks have not used their influence to hold H&M accountable for its living wage commitment, a new report by Fair Action and Fair Finance Guide shows...

The report outlines the investments of Danske Bank, DNB, Handelsbanken, KLP, Länsförsäkringar, Nordea, SEB, Skandia, Storebrand and Swedbank as well as four savings banks (Sparebank 1 Nord-Norge/ SMN/SR/Östlandet) in the Nordic brands H&M, KappAhl, Lindex and MQ. The four fashion companies all buy clothes from Bangladesh, where employees in the factories are among the lowest paid in the world. H&M is the world's largest buyer of garments from Bangladesh. Around 80 percent of the work force in the country's garment sector is female. 

The report shows that none of the banks are doing enough to push for living wages in the four companies’ supply chains. More specifically, the banks have not demanded that the garment companies set concrete objectives in terms of measurable wage increases.

[Full report attached below]

Part of the following timelines

Bangladesh: Widespread garment worker protests over minimum wage increase; leads to mass dismissals

Bangladesh: Fair Action reports that Nordic banks fail to hold H&M and other brands accountable to living wage promises