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USA: Citi CEO says bank approved Dakota Access Pipeline loan without sufficient regard for indigenous peoples' concerns

Author: David Henry, Reuters (UK), Published on: 27 April 2017

Citi meeting protest prompts apology on pipeline finance steps, 25 April 2017 Citigroup's annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday evolved into an orderly exchange between an older tribal woman and the bank's two top executives, who conceded it had approved investments in a North Dakota pipeline too quickly. "We wish we could have a do-over on this," Chairman Mike O'Neill said after hearing from Casey Camp-Horinek, a council woman for the Ponca Nation... [The] protesters who were concerned about environmental damage from the pipeline and shale oil. 

Citigroup is one of four lead banks in a group of 17 which have provided project financing for the Dakota Access Pipeline [developed by Energy Transfer Partners]. The pipeline crosses land of the Standing Rock Sioux whose members are concerned about possible ground water contamination if the pipeline breaks. In January, U.S. President Donald Trump signed orders smoothing the path for the pipeline... 

Chief Executive Mike Corbat said Citigroup had not given enough early consideration to the concerns of the indigenous people. But now, he said, Citigroup could do more to protect the environment by keeping its investments. "We made the decision that we are a better force for good at the table than away from the table," Corbat said. "We don't think it is the right thing to simply sell these and walk away."...

Wells Fargo & Co's shareholder meeting, which was held at the same time in Florida, resulted in repeated interruptions.

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Related companies: Citigroup Energy Transfer Partners Wells Fargo