Top British banks ‘keep Mugabe afloat’

Debbie

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THREE 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.
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It is also estimated that the three institutions have lent the Mugabe regime approximately £100m by purchasing treasury bills and government bonds.
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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.
Full report from Business Day: http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A370024

Money makes the world go round.
 

Tassidar

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In Defence

These companies are caught between a rock and a hard place:
(1) They have a duty to support fund-holders. By pulling out of Zimbabwe, they could render many of their fund-holders destitute. No small thing in a country like Zimbabwe with no support system whatsoever.
(2) Or, they could k*k and betaal to remain in the country, continue providing support to their fund-holders, even if it means supporting Mugabe's regime.

Please do not think for one second that it is profitable to do business in Zimbabwe. The official interest rate is something like 100%, while the inflation rate is in the 000s of %. Who in their right mind is going to put money in the bank. Nor can they profit from forex exchanges, since no one in their right mind would go to a bank to exchange money (in fact, if you tried, tellers would probably look at you with a blank face).

These banks are not responsible for putting Mugabe's rules in place. However, they are responsible to their fund-holders, and must honour those obligations first and foremost.
 

The_Unbeliever

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@ Tassidar - makes me glad I'm not the CEO of one of those banks... :D

but seriously, how they manage it, I don't know... it's a fine line they walk...
 

Skeptik

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Barclays/ABSA had better watch out. They have a short memory, or else they would remember why they had to leave SA during the apartheid era.
 

ghoti

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There is no moral defence or justification to this. Those companies, and their shareholders are plain evil evil evil.
 

Freshy-ZN

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Is Standard Chartered and Standard Bank the same thing or affiliated somehow?
 

Bageloo

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Is Standard Chartered and Standard Bank the same thing or affiliated somehow?
Standard bank also has operations in Zim. They are called Stanbic Africa because they can't use the word Standard in their name(for obvious reasons).
 

TELESPHORE

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No they're separate. Standard Chartered were the bank that bought out 20twenty here.
And totally messed it up. Given the low level of response now at SC, then SC in Zim possibly does not know in which country they operate. SC are total idiots.
 

Syndyre

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And totally messed it up. Given the low level of response now at SC, then SC in Zim possibly does not know in which country they operate. SC are total idiots.
Yeah I used to use them till they came and closed it down. :mad:
 
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