THURSDAY, APRIL 06, 2017
THE BLOG OF THE RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK

Energy Transfer: Which Banks Continue to Support the Company Behind DAPL?

Just like a homeowner might refinance their mortgage, when a company refinances its debt, it can replace its agreement with the banks with a new deal that may prove more favorable to the company, or extend the length of the deal.

On March 24, 2017, Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) -- parent of the family of companies behind the disastrous Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) -- refinanced its credit agreement, essentially meaning a new credit agreement was signed.

So, this was a test for the big banks, to see if they’ve learned any lessons after all the criticism they got for funding DAPL and Energy Transfer. Did they start cutting ties with the company? Or did they get right back in line to keep funding egregious human rights abuses?

Five banks that were previously on Energy Transfer Equity’s revolving credit did the right thing, and chose not to support ETE’s new credit:

  • ABN Amro (Netherlands)
  • DNB (Norway)
  • ING (Netherlands)
  • Intesa Sanpaolo (Italy)
  • RBS (Scotland)

This means that ING is following through on its March 21 commitment to “stop doing any new business with the companies, not renewing credit facilities that expire, effectively ending the relationship.” Both ING and DNB have sold off their stakes in the project finance loan that actually built DAPL -- but this move shows that they understand the risks of any involvement with the companies.

On the other hand, four banks did the opposite -- where previously they weren’t on ETE’s line of credit, in March they decided to bankroll the company:

  • Bank of Nova Scotia (Canada)
  • CIBC (Canada)
  • Fifth Third Bank (U.S.)
  • TD Bank (Canada)

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Public Pressure Works

DNB, ING, and Intesa Sanpaolo were all part of the 17 banks directly funding DAPL -- so their backing away from the company behind the project is a good indication that they felt the heat and learned their lesson.

TD Bank hasn’t learned the same lesson -- and in fact, TD and two of their Canadian peer banks are showing that they do not care about the track record of their clients. At the same time, TD is doubling down on projects that kill the climate and trample Indigenous rights by taking on a lead arranger role for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline.

Meanwhile, banks like Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo continue to fund Energy Transfer, without taking this opportunity to exit the relationship. With the intense criticism Citi and Wells Fargo got for funding DAPL, these banks have tried to reassure the public that they really do care about Indigenous human rights -- but they haven’t put their money where their mouth is.

That’s why we’re calling for a week of action targeting Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and TD Bank -- not only for supporting the companies behind DAPL, but also for not learning their lesson -- as all of these banks are also bankrolling TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

 

 

P.S. Here’s the full list of banks that on March 24, 2017, committed $1.5 billion to Energy Transfer Equity:

   Bank

   Country

   Amount

   Bank of America

   United States

   $67,470,600

   ✦ Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ

   Japan

   $67,470,600

   ✽ Bank of Nova Scotia

   Canada

   $67,470,600

   Barclays

   United Kingdom

   $67,470,600

   ✦ BNP Paribas

   France

   $40,000,000

   ✦ Calyon Securities (Crédit Agricole)

   France

   $65,500,000

   ✽ CIBC

   Canada

   $40,000,000

   ✦ Citibank

   United States

   $67,470,600

   ✦ Compass Bank (BBVA)

   Spain

   $65,500,000

   Credit Suisse

   Switzerland

   $67,470,600

   Deutsche Bank

   Germany

   $67,470,600

   ✽ Fifth Third Bank

   United States

   $67,470,600

   Goldman Sachs

   United States

   $67,470,600

   HSBC

   United Kingdom

   $30,000,000

   JPMorgan Chase

   United States

   $67,470,600

   ✦ Mizuho

   Japan

   $67,470,600

   Morgan Stanley

   United States

   $67,470,600

   ✦ Natixis

   France

   $67,470,600

   PNC

   United States

   $40,000,000

   Royal Bank of Canada

   Canada

   $67,470,600

   ✦ SMBC

   Japan

   $67,470,600

   ✦ Suntrust

   United States

   $40,000,000

   ✽ ✦ Toronto Dominion (TD) Bank

   Canada

   $67,470,600

   UBS

   Switzerland

   $67,470,600

   ✦ Wells Fargo

   United States

   $32,000,000

✽ Banks that made new commitments to Energy Transfer Equity in March 2017.
✦ Banks that directly funded the Dakota Access Pipeline.

 

Note: RBS reported in November 2016 that they exited their relationship with Energy Transfer Equity in November 2015: http://www.rbs.com/news/2016/11/rbs-relationship-with-dakota-access-pipeline-companies-ended-in-.html

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