Bankers aren’t too popular these days, but causing the credit crunch is just one of the many reprehensible things they’ve done. Forcing people from their homes, destroying the rainforest and financing the arms trade all feature in 10 Unethical Things Banks Do With Your Money. So, are you curious to know what the bank is doing with you money?
10) Financing Land-Grabbing Companies: The National Australia Bank lent $200m to a palm oil company linked to land-grabbing. The company illegally cleared land with fire and took land from indigenous tribes with no consent.
9) Racist Lending Policies: Evans Bank was accused of refusing loans for homes in areas with large black populations. The entire town of Buffalo, NY- home to 75% of the city’s black population- was redlined.
8) Transaction Re-ordering: Banks rearrange transaction times to maximize the number that will trigger an overdraft. Large payments are moved to earlier in the day, meaning smaller payments will lead to overdraft charges.
7) Banks Enable Blood Diamond Trade: Old Mutual had stakes in a Zimbabwean diamond company linked to the blood diamond trade.
6) Foreclosure Abuses: In 2010 US banks were caught approving foreclosures without assessing paperwork. 3.8m homes were falsely foreclosed, driving thousands of families into homelessness.
5) Financing Illegal Deforestation: Westpack financed the WTK group, who illegally cleared Papua New Guineas’s rainforests. They used force to make locals sign over land.
4) Money Laundering: Drug gangs laundered billions of dollars through Wachovia Bank.
3) Moving Terrorist Money: HSBC were accused of moving money from Arabian terrorist groups.
2) Funding Cluster Bomb Production: 139 banks invested $24bn in companies producing cluster bombs.
1) Financing Companies Using Child Labor: ANZ financed a Cambodian sugar plantation which employed children as young as 7.