Shell in Nigeria: how banks add fuel to the fire

19 May 2020

Verdicts expected in five ongoing court cases have made Shell's crimes in the Niger Delta a hot topic again. The multinational is responsible for a large number of oil spills and is pushing hard against accepting accountability.

Yet Belgian banks such as BNP Paribas, ING, KBC and Belfius continue to invest billions in Shell. So the Move Your Money campaign from Fair Finance Guide Belgium is calling on bank customers to vote with their feet - and change bank to one that invests responsibly!

Pictured above: Eric Dooh shows the crude oil that has tarnished the banks of the creek through his village of Goi (Ogoniland). Multiple leaks in a Shell pipeline have heavily contaminated the creek over many miles, removing fish and other life from the tidal area. (Milieudefensie)

Why does it matter?

The extraction of fossil fuels accelerates global warming by adding carbon to our atmosphere. In addition the oil spills in the Niger Delta are among the most grievous examples of oil pollution globally, destroying ecosystems and damaging the health and livelihoods of communities.

Shell has a history of harmful actions, of denying accountability, and of taking extreme measures to conceal environmental damage. Yet as oil spills continue, Shell also continues to evade responsibility and to receive massive investment from major banks. 

Bank Accountability

Between 2015 and 2019, BNP Paribas invested 4.5 billion euros in Shell through loans and bond issues. ING has more than 1 million euros worth of bonds in its portfolio, and KBC has as much as 5 million euros. Candriam funds, which are sold via Belfius and other channels, invest more than 50 million euros in bonds and shares.

These investments are made with money from their customers. The banks have known for a long time about Shell's practices, but continue to retain the multinational in their portfolios. The Move Your Money campaign is calling on all customers to take their money out of these banks and let their bank know that they expect responsible action. 

Check out the Move your Money campaign (in Dutch and French).

For questions contact Stefaan Van Parys:

Campaigns are just one way Fair Finance Guides in ten countries aim to limit the flow of finance to companies who do not adhere to Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG standards. Read more about the work of Fair Finance International here.