Australian Banks and Land Grabs
Australia’s Big 4 Banks — the ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac — have a history of backing agriculture and timber companies linked to land grabs in developing countries.
These land grabs force local people from their homes and farms without proper consent or compensation. This leaves families homeless and hungry.
All four banks claim to have responded to land grabs. Public and investor pressure led ANZ, NAB and Westpac to put in place new policies that recognise the risks to communities from land related projects.
This is an important step. However, banks are still not doing enough to ensure communities who have lost their land and their livelihoods can get justice.
Our new report with BankTrack Developing effective Grievance Mechanisms in the banking sector shows that banks need to do a lot more to make sure communities can raise their concerns and seek justice through compensation or other forms of redress. Currently none of the banks have adequate practices to allow communities to raise a complaint.
Collectively Australians have $2.7 trillion in their household bank accounts and superannuation savings. That’s equivalent to a third of all developing country national debt combined. Where our money goes matters.
Our previous reports
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