Protesters demand HSBC stop funding Adani

Stop Adani action. Photo: Rigmor Berg

About 50 protesters marched to the Wynyard branch of the HSBC (Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation) on December 16 to call on the international bank to use its influence over the State Bank of India (SBI) to walk away from a proposed loan of $1 billion (5000 crore) to Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal project in Queensland.

Other major investors have called on SBI to do the same, including Black Rock, the world’s biggest asset manager. Amundi, the biggest asset manager in Europe, has said that it will divest if SBI lends to Adani’s Carmichael coal project. AXA Investment Managers has divested.

HSBC is one of a few major SBI investors that has not condemned the proposed loan which would provide the funds Adani needs to dig the mine and build the rail line through the Galilee Basin in central Queensland.

Stop Adani spokesperson Varsha said that HSBC must “withdraw from [its] involvement in funding Adani … Some 28 other companies have divested from Adani. The use of $1 billion of Indian public money to boost Adani is a disaster.”

Another speaker talked about the massive Indian farmers’ protests, explaining that they had been “protesting against injustice for three months” and that the Indian government “is lining up with corrupt corporations to attack farmers’ basic rights”. She called on SBI to use the money “to help Indian farmers and the community”.

That same morning at the Barangaroo branch of HSBC, protesters occupied the lobby of the bank to demand it end its financial support for Adani.