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26 May 2016

Bank Track

“New BankTrack Human Rights Impact Briefing: Drummond and paramilitary violence in Colombia”

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BankTrack…publishes the second in its series of Human Rights Impact Briefings, focusing on the coal company Drummond and the seven banks which have financed it since 2010. The briefing finds that despite allegations of their client's involvement in serious human rights violations only two of these seven banks were able to disclose any action taken in response…Drummond produces the majority of its coal in the Cesar mining region of Colombia, an area in which paramilitary violence has had profound impacts for the local population. Conservative estimates suggest paramilitaries drove over 55,000 farmers from their land and killed at least 3,100 people in the period from 1996 to 2006, with the intention of defending the interests and properties of the local economic elite against guerrilla activities…The Dutch peace movement PAX has investigated reports of links between this violence and mining companies operating in the area, including Drummond…BankTrack presented the seven banks that had provided loans to Drummond since 2010 with details of these allegations...Only two banks - Citigroup and BNP Paribas - responded with details of how they had sought to address these impacts. In a welcome move, BNP Paribas responded that it has suspended finance with Drummond for environmental and human rights reasons. Citigroup reported that it has engaged with Drummond on issues including security and human rights, but its response indicates it is satisfied that human rights are well-managed at the company…Bank of America, BBVA, HSBC, Mizuho Financial and Wells Fargo did not disclose any  response to the issues identified, and showed no evidence that they are meeting the requirements of the UN Guiding Principles in this case. With the exception of BBVA, the banks stated that as a general policy they do not, or cannot, comment on their links to specific companies they finance.

How banks responded

  • Response outlining some action taken in response to the issues raised: BNP Paribas; Citigroup
  • Confirmation of link with Drummond, but no comment on the specific issues raised: BBVA
  • No confirmation of link with Drummond, and no comment on the specific issues raised: Bank of America; HSBC; Mizuho Financial; Wells Fargo