Belgian banks invest 36 billion dollars in controversial mines

Banks active in the Belgian market invested nearly 36 billion dollars (34 billion euros) between 2011 and 2016 in controversial mining exploitations. This is the finding of the NGOs 11.11.11 and Broederlijk Delen et Fairfin.

These organisations say BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, ING and KBC have particularly invested in Glencore, Goldcorp and Newmont Mining Corporation. These are companies specialising in metal extraction, at which the OECD regularly points the finger for irregular operational practices.

However, BNP, Deutsche Bank and ING have an internal policy for such mining investments, which has a habit of regularly deceiving investors. The NGOs stressed, “Investors have the impression that the banks are demonstrating a strong awareness of this issue. Yet, our study proves to the contrary.”

The banks Argenta, Belfius, VDK Spaarbank and Triodos have no investments in this sector.

In the context of these findings, 11.11.11 and Broederlijk Delen et Fairfin are requesting that Belgian authorities discuss the investment policies of banks with them.

They would particularly like to see this with BNP Paribas Fortis, which invested 18.2 billion dollars in the course of the period of study, and for which the Belgian state is the main shareholder.

The NGOs have also called for action from Febelfin, which is the federation representing the financial sector’s interests.

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