HSBC can help stop the State Bank of India from funding the Adani Carmichael coal mine. But will it?

9 December 2020

Since reports surfaced that the State Bank of India (SBI) is considering lending almost A$1billion to Adani’s Carmichael mega-mine, backlash against the loan has spread through the finance sector.

Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, and Norwegian investor Storebrand joined European giant Amundi in the call for SBI to rule out funding Adani’s internationally controversial coal project. Both Amundi and AXA have now divested their SBI green bond holdings.

A major bank that is at risk of suffering a major hit to its credibility through its connection to SBI is HSBC, which has a policy against funding new thermal coal mines like the Adani Carmichael project. 

According to the Anthropocene Fixed Income Institute, HSBC is both a major green bond arranger for SBI and a major lender, contributing to hundreds of millions worth of funds for the bank. This capital that HSBC has raised for SBI may have helped free up other funds for SBI to sink into devastating thermal coal projects like Carmichael. Expert economic analysts have called out HSBC for saying one thing but doing another; spruiking its green bonds initiative while remaining silent as their client SBI considers a massive loan to Adani’s climate wrecking project. Any climate benefit from the green bonds would be overwhelmed by the damage done by the Adani mega-mine.  

If SBI decides to loan A$1billion to Adani’s new thermal coal mine, helping to open up the massive untapped Galilee coal basin, all of HSBC’s Sustainability strategies would be totally undermined. HSBC’s credibility in the growing sustainable finance world is at stake.  

Amundi, Europe’s largest asset manager, told SBI that if it funds the Carmichael mine, it will dump the bank’s green bonds it owns, labelling a loan to Carmichael as a “total contradiction” to the green bonds initiative.

If HSBC does not speak out against SBI’s willingness to fund Adani coal, HSBC will be making itself an example of serious greenwashing.

SBI is due to announce its decision any day now after it was initially delayed by huge public outcry and investor pressure. HSBC must call out SBI’s dangerous lending or risk being a funding lifeline for Adani’s toxic and unbankable mega-mine.

Tweet and/or email HSBC’s decision makers now calling on the bank to state publicly that it won’t provide any further financial services or capital to SBI if it funds Adani’s toxic mine.

Take action

Call on HSBC to state publicly that it won’t provide any further financial services or capital to SBI if it funds Adani’s toxic mine.