CAMPAIGN AGAINST BANKS. FOREIGN TO THE U.S., WHICH SUPPORT SOUTH AFRICA

by John E. Lind, California/Nevada Interfaith Committee on Corporate Responsibility
San Francisco, California, United States
June 1987
Publisher: California/Nevada Interfaith Committee on Corporate Responsibility
4 pages
Type: Memorandum
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States, Europe, France, Japan, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Language: English
Contents: FOREIGN BANK OPERATIONS IN THE U.S. • RELATIONS OF FOREIGN BANKS TO THE U.S. • PRESSURE IN THE UNITED STATES • MAJOR SUBSIDIARIES OF THE 14 FOREIGN BANKS OPERATING IN THE U.S. • The “Trade Finance and Projections of South Africa's Balance of Payments” report says that non-U.S. banks are the primary source of financial support for South Africa through their continued provision of trade credits. Most other countries provide insurance cover for these trade credits, thus guaranteeing their timely repayment by South Africa outside the debt moratorium on $13 billion of South Africa's debt. Thus, when the U.S. banks sought a short-term agreement with a large payback on this debt under the moratorium in the Spring of 1987, they were unable to obtain such an agreement because of a lack of commitment from banks in other countries, part of whose debt is guaranteed and not under the moratorium. Swiss banks were particularly uncooperative because of the nearly $20 million per day of gold that they sell on behalf of the South African Reserve Bank. Gold makes up almost half of South Africa's total exports and is therefore central to its economy and balance of payments. Three Swiss banks sell between one-half and two-thirds of this gold on the Zurich gold market while the rest is primarily sold on the London market. State and local laws nee d to be amended to prevent the deposit of public funds in banks whose parent bank holding company provides trade-related credits for South African trade. The memorandum mentions Standard Chartered, National Westminster Bank (NatWest), Barclays PLC, Dresdner Bank, Duetsche (Deutsche Bank), Commerzbank, Union Bank of Switzerland, Swiss Bank Corp., Credit Suisse, Banque Nationale de Paris, Credit Lyonnaise, Societe Generale, Bank of Tokyo, Sumitomo Bank, Mocatta & Goldsmid, Samuel Montagu, Midland Bank, European American Bank of New York, European banks,  Amsterdam-Rotterdam Bank, Creditanstalt-Bankverein, General Bank, Bancorp {Los Angeles), United Bank (Phoenix), Bank of the West, French American Banking Corporation, California First Bank, Central Pacific Bank, major creditor countries, branch and representative offices, corporate customer pressure, churches, pension funds, universities, short-term portfolios, certificates of deposits, bankers' acceptances, other short-term securities, the College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF), foreign stock holdings, and SEC registration.
Used by permission of John E. Lind, CANICCOR Research.
Collection: Miloanne Hecathorn papers