posted by Benjamin Collins

Good news this week! On Coal India, you spoke—and Wall Street listened. U.S. banks stayed away from the deal!

Back in September, we asked for your help when a share sale deal was in the works for Coal India, a mining company with a dirty track record of human rights and environmental abuses.1 As the world’s biggest coal company, Coal India’s sale meant big profits for any bank underwriting it.

Thank you for signing RAN’s petition calling on the CEOs of big U.S. banks—many of which had previously worked with Coal India—to stay away from the deal. That public pressure proved to be invaluable in our talks with these big banks warning them to steer clear. The sign-up deadline for banks was extended not once, not twice, but three times—because of pressure from environmentalists like you.2 

In the end, you spoke and Wall Street listened! This week, we learned that not a single U.S. bank will cash in on this Coal India deal.

Unfortunately, the transaction will go on. Eight banks have put up bids to manage the $3.2 billion sale: seven Indian banks, plus the British bank HSBC have decided to profit off of Coal India.3 Which means profiting off of human rights abuses and climate change. 

But thank you for making sure that Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley didn’t get involved in this dirty deal. It’s past time for banks to get out of coal entirely—and it’s moments like this that show us that when we speak loud enough, Wall Street has to do the right thing.


1. “Indigenous and Dalit communities at risk of forced evictions in Chhattisgarh,” Amnesty International India, September 4, 2014

2. “Green worries keep foreign banks away from $3.3 billion Coal India sale,” Reuters, October 16, 2015

3. “Eight banks submit bids to manage $3.2 billion Coal India stake sale,” Reuters, November 16, 2015