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BSP stops financing loggers. Will Kina?

| Campaign Manager | Act Now

PORT MORESBY – News that the bank accounts of 30 logging companies operating in Papua New Guinea have been closed have been welcomed by advocacy organisations Act Now and Jubilee Australia.

The PNG Forest Industry Association complained to The National newspaper that Bank South Pacific (BSP) had closed the commercial loggers’ bank accounts to comply with its anti-money laundering responsibilities.

We welcome any move by PNG banks to restrict finance to the logging sector, which has been identified as representing a high-risk for money laundering.

Of PNG's four commercial banks, now only Kina seems hesitant about applying similar restrictions to logging companies.

In December 2021 a report by Act Now and Jubilee Australia, The Money Behind the Chainsaws, detailed how PNG’s commercial banks had provided at least K300 million since 2000 in available credit to the country’s five largest exporters of tropical logs.

The report provided evidence of illegal activity and human rights abuses in the sector and called on commercial banks in PNG to commit to ending all financing to companies involved in tropical forest logging.

Over the past decades, Act Now and its partners have published numerous cases of illegal activity in the sector which has led to the theft of vital forest resources from customary landowners.

When banks provide services to logging companies, they help to prop up this destructive industry.

No bank should be providing financial support to companies engaged in tropical forest logging.

The move by BSP to close the logging companies’ accounts places the spotlight on PNG’s second largest bank, Kina.

Kina Bank has yet to confirm if it is taking action to exit its logging company customers or to rule out offering its services to new logging clients.

The two other commercial banks operating in PNG – Westpac and ANZ – have policies or practices that restrict their financing to the logging sector.

We call on all banks to ensure they do not accept new customers involved in tropical forest logging, and take steps to close the accounts of existing customers in this sector.


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Lindsay F Bond

day dawns,
Kina ought
to change its name

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