Bankwatch: Bill Oddie evicted from HSBC headquarters after protest over bank's links to logging companies blamed for destruction of the rainforest in Malaysia

Campaign group Global Witness releases satirical film featuring BBC presenter

Bill Oddie, the naturalist and BBC television presenter, has made a provocative protest film intended to embarrass the global bank HSBC over its links to logging companies blamed for the destruction of the rainforest in Malaysia.

The presenter of programmes including Springwatch and Wild in Your Garden was evicted from HSBC’s London headquarters while making a film about the bank’s ties to loggers in the state of Sarawak in Borneo , where less than 5% of the rainforests are unaffected by deforestation or palm oil plantations.

The campaign group Global Witness has released the satirical film – called Bankwatch with Bill Oddie - to back a public petition calling on Stuart Gulliver, chief executive of HSBC, to end its relationship with the logging companies which fail to meet the bank’s own sustainability policies.

Clutching his binoculars as he walks about the City of London, Oddie is shown in the film “entering the territory of a creature that’s very closely related to man”, namely “the banker”.

Before he is forcibly ejected by security guards from the “main den” of HSBC headquarters, he makes some scathing observations. “Like most great predators, the HSBC banker sits at the top of the financial food chain totally oblivious to the impact of its appetite on the local eco-system,” he says. “The HSBC banker has a diet which is made up almost exclusively of molluscs and Bollinger so the millions made from logging in Borneo are key to his survival.”

Global Witness last year highlighted that HSBC had provided loans and services to logging companies with close links to the Sarawak chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

“HSBC has made an absolute killing helping some of the world’s worst logging companies get off the ground,” said Oddie. “According to HSBC’s own rules and all the evidence, it shouldn’t be touching them with a bargepole. As a result the last of Borneo’s rainforests are under immediate threat. Everyone needs to sign the petition to stop HBSC profiting from deforestation in Malaysia and beyond, before it’s too late.”

Responding to the allegations, the bank defended its record but said it did not discuss former or existing clients. “HSBC is committed to adopting, implementing and enforcing the highest behavioural and compliance standards across the entire group. HSBC was among the first international banks to develop and implement a forest and forestry products sector policy.  We stand by our record and work constructively with NGOs to help us improve our Sustainability Risk Policies and assess their implementation and effectiveness."

The Independent recently reported how the state of Sarawak used the British television presenter Ben Fogle to front a tourism propaganda campaign in which he extolled the beauty of the rainforests to potential tourists.

Mr Fogle has said he would not be making any more films for the Sarawak Tourism Board until he received answers to “many questions” he has in relation to recent revelations over deforestation issues in the state .

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Database Executive - Leading Events Marketing Company - London

£23000 - £25000 per annum + 25 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Databas...

Recruitment Genius: Publishing Assistant

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Executive / Digital Account Executive

£20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Digital Account Exec ...

Guru Careers: Print Project Manager

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: A Print Project Manager is needed to join one...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living