ABN AMRO is the third-largest bank in the Netherlands and provides financing for the day-to-day operations of Energy Transfer Equity, the parent company of Energy Transfer Partners, which holds a 38% stake in the pipeline.
ABN AMRO has since condemned Energy Transfer Equity, stating it "its desire(s) that an acceptable non-violent solution be found among all parties impacted by the construction of the DAPL, including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. If such a solution is not achieved, the ultimate consequence will be discontinuation of the relationship. In the meantime, ABN AMRO will not pursue any new business with ETE until there is clarity regarding the situation and an acceptable outcome has been achieved.”
Full press release, Feb. 2, 2017:
The events surrounding the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), an oil pipeline in the United States, have generated significant attention worldwide and have been causing controversy in recent months. The controversy stems from questions raised over the legality of the construction of the pipeline, the humanitarian concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and varying views over the manner in which protests against the construction have been carried out and reacted to.
Client relationship with a parent company
ABN AMRO is not involved in financing the construction of the pipeline, and is not a direct lender to the project sponsors. However, ABN AMRO does have financing relations with Energy Transfer Equity (ETE), the parent company of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), one of the firms contracted to build the pipeline. This past autumn ABN AMRO initiated an engagement process with ETE in which it expressed its concerns about the involvement of its subsidiary ETP, and emphasised that ETE should exert pressure on ETP and the other project sponsors to reach a solution that is acceptable to all the parties impacted by the construction of the DAPL, among which the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
ABN AMRO subscribes to the principle of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Like the need to respect all other human rights, this principle is enshrined in the bank’s sustainability policy. ABN AMRO is against any form of the use of violence and strongly insists that the emergence of violence must be prevented by all parties.
Suitable and peaceful solution for all parties
ABN AMRO uses its influence wherever it can to assure that its policies of sustainability and responsible banking are upheld. As part of the ongoing engagement process, ABN AMRO will continue to engage ETE to strongly stress the need for it to influence ETP with a view to reaching an agreement that is suitable for all parties impacted, and that this solution be accomplished without violence and with FPIC at the forefront.
Client relationship under review
The bank has informed ETE of its strict adherence to FPIC principles and, accordingly, its desire that an acceptable non-violent solution be found among all parties impacted by the construction of the DAPL, including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. If such a solution is not achieved, the ultimate consequence will be discontinuation of the relationship. In the meantime, ABN AMRO will not pursue any new business with ETE until there is clarity regarding the situation and an acceptable outcome has been achieved.
Sustainability policies in practice
General information concerning the bank’s sustainability policies in practice can be read in another news item on this website.
Status: Not fully divested.