17 December 2020
Over 90% of respondents to Market Forces’ State Bank of India (SBI) staff survey would oppose the public bank’s lending of A$1 billion to Adani’s Australian mega-mine. This puts SBI’s management on a collision course with its employees if it ends up supporting Adani’s climate-wrecking Carmichael thermal coal mine with the loan, after not one single private bank in the entire world was willing to fund the project.
The survey, which is being run via LinkedIn, also found that 97% of respondents wanted to see India replace coal-fired power with renewable energy like solar.
“Renewable Energy is the way to go, why are we funding a regressive and more importantly environment harming project? Fund Solar farms in India instead.”– Anonymous SBI staff member
Another common theme from SBI staff responses were concerns that the bank’s decision was being influenced by the Indian Government, with 85% agreeing political pressure was likely a factor. These responses come amid arguably the biggest strikes in human history occuring on the streets of India, protesting Prime Minister Modi’s new farm and industrial relations laws seen to favour large corporations like the Adani Group.
“Public sector banks are not free from political influence. This Loan for Adani is such an example”– Anonymous SBI staff member
“I believe SBI should not fund this coal project. The senior management in SBI needs to take an independent decision, without getting influenced by political connotations.”– Anonymous SBI staff member
SBI staff also voiced the view that SBI’s money would be better spent powering India’s COVID-19 economic recovery, with 91% agreeing that taxpayer funds are better placed supporting industries and jobs in India.
“Why not finance the projects in India so that employment will generate and the country will come up.”– Anonymous SBI staff member
SBI staff join a growing list of stakeholders that are speaking out against SBI’s proposed A$1billion loan to Adani’s controversial coal project. Since reports of the loan surfaced, major investors including Amundi and AXA have threatened to, or have, divested their bond holdings in SBI, and thousands of people across the globe have rallied outside SBI offices and Indian consulates.
The next big player that needs to speak out against SBI’s consideration of a loan to Adani is UK bank HSBC, which has recently arranged millions of dollars of green bonds for SBI and provided it with loans.
Contact HSBC now and let it know that it is risking its reputation if it does not join the call for SBI to rule out funding Adani’s coal mine.
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.