Just a day after the Adani Carmichael mine’s approval was declared invalid by the Federal Court, the Commonwealth Bank has pulled out of its role as financial adviser.
The controversial $16b coal mine project’s development was put on hole due to a passionate fight from environmental groups and organisations concerned about two vulnerable species, the Yakka skink and the Ornamental snake.
The bank, with a short two-sentence statement, confirmed that “our advisory role has concluded”.
“Due to client confidentiality we are unable to comment further.”
The bank, Australia’s largest lender to resources projects, faced outrage from some of it’s members for supporting the Indian mining giant.
Hundreds of posts flood the Commonwealth Bank Facebook page, quoting one of the banks policy, that states Commonwealth Bank will not knowingly support clients or their activities that irrevocably damage World Heritage sites or other high value conservation areas defined by internationally recognised agencies.
Tim Buckley, from the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said the Commonwealth Bank leaving its adviser role was a “major revelation”, according to a report by the ABC.
“It’s come out today that the Commonwealth Bank’s advisory mandate with Adani in Australia has lapsed,” he said.
“To me, that is a major revelation because ultimately when global banks are looking at projects in Australia, they look to the Australian banks who have the on-the-ground knowledge, on-the-ground feel for the project, to come out and endorse a project.
“Then the international banks can piggyback effectively off the local knowledge, and effectively, due diligence of the big Australian banks.
“For CommBank not to be involved, then by definition they’re not endorsing the project, that makes it much, much harder for Adani to then find another global group of institutions who are willing to fund this project.”