Full report from Business Day: http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A370024THREE British financial services firms are providing financial support to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s regime through their operations in that country, UK newspaper The Observer reported yesterday.
Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and insurance firm Old Mutual have provided more than $1bn in direct and indirect funding to the Zimbabwean government which had allowed it to continue with its controversial land reforms, the paper said.
Financial support provided by the institutions included a £30m loan made by Barclays to a state-sponsored agricultural facility responsible for land reforms that allowed Mugabe to seize white-owned farmland in the country.
It is also estimated that the three institutions have lent the Mugabe regime approximately £100m by purchasing treasury bills and government bonds.
Standard Chartered Bank confirmed it had lent Mugabe’s government money through the purchase of government bonds, saying, “This is part of doing business in Zimbabwe.”
Barclays said abandoning the Zimbabwean customers that it had would “make matters worse” in the country.
Money makes the world go round.