forests & finance

The banks and investors exposed to deforestation risks in Southeast Asia

Explore the data
View the bank profiles
See the impacts
Photo: Ulet Ifansasti / Wildlife Asia / RAN /
Racing Extinction

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explore the data

Search our database to discover the link between big banks, investors and forest-risk companies

Run searches using different filter options including finance type, bank or investor, bank or investor region, forest-risk client or group, year and forest-risk sector. The total value of loans, underwriting and bond - and shareholding is displayed below

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Show Bank/Investor Country Bank/Investor Region Client Client Country
finance type bank/investor Bank/Investor Region Bank/Investor Country Forest-risk group Forest-risk client Forest Risk Client Country amount (USD million) year Forest-risk sector

Search total (USD million)

Corporate loans & underwriting by country and sector, 2010-2016 (USD billion)

Banks from Japan, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom & the United States are the biggest financiers of 183 selected forest-risk sector companies in Southeast Asia

Top 15 loan & underwriting providers by sector, 2010-2016 (USD billion)

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Malayan Banking, Mizuho Financial, CIMB, RHB Banking & HSBC were the biggest financiers of the 183 selected forest-risk sector companies between 2010 and 2016

Corporate loans & underwriting by sector,

The palm oil and pulp & paper sectors accounted for more than three-quarters of corporate loans & underwriting between 2010 and 2016

Bond & shareholdings by investor country in May 2017 (USD billion)


The highest level of bonds and shares in the 183 selected forest-risk sector companies in Southeast Asia are held by Malaysian investors, with the majority of investments attributable to palm oil

Top 15 bond & shareholders by sector in May 2017 (USD billion)

Investors from Malaysia, the United States, Japan,  the United Kingdom and Singapore are the biggest bond and shareholders in the 183 selected forest-risk companies in Southeast Asia – Malaysian pension funds are among the biggest investors

Bond & shareholdings by sector,
May 2017

Three-quarters of bonds & shares in the 183 selected forest-risk sector companies in Southeast Asia were attributable to the palm oil sector in 2017


view the bank profiles

See which banks are most involved and how their environmental and social policies stack up - click on a bank to find out more.
Note: this section will be updated with the revised dataset (2010-16) soon

Bank Bank/Investor Country Total value of loans,
credit & underwriting
2010-2015 (USD million)
Policy Assessment Policy Score
(out of 30)

    See the impacts

    Explore the stories to uncover the deforestation and human rights abuses linked to some bank and investor finance


    Read the briefing to find out more about the role banks and investors play in deforestation

    Forests & Finance Brochure Bank Policy Matrix Banks Haze Crisis Letter Forests & Finance Dossier

    About this project

    This website aims to highlight the role that finance plays in enabling tropical deforestation. It is the result of extensive research and investigations by a coalition of campaign and research organisations including Rainforest Action Network, TuK INDONESIA, and Profundo. Collectively, these organisations and their allies seek to achieve improved financial sector policies and systems that prevent financial institutions from supporting the kind of environmental and social abuses that are all too common in the operations of their forest-risk sector clients. For more information on this project please contact info@forestsandfinance.org.

    methodology FAQ


    This project assesses the financial services received by over 180 companies directly involved in the palm oil, pulp & paper, rubber and tropical timber (“forest-risk sector”) supply chains, whose operations impact natural tropical forests in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Financial databases Thomson EIKON, Bloomberg IJGlobal, TradeFinanceAnalytics, company register filings, as well as publicly available company reports, were used to identify corporate loans, credit and underwriting facilities provided to the selected companies in the period 2010-2016. Investments in bonds and shares of the selected companies were identified through Thomson EIKON and Bloomberg at the most recently available filing date in May 2017. This data provides a deal-level dataset of specific relationships between selected companies and any linked financial institution.

    Companies with business activities outside of the forest-risk sector had recorded amounts reduced to more accurately present the proportion of financing that can be reasonably attributed to the forest-risk sector operations of the selected company (see Adjusters). Where available financial information did not specify the purpose of investment or receiving division within the parent company group, reduction factors were individually calculated by comparing a company’s forest-risk sector activities relative to its parent group total activities.

    The commercial banks identified in this study were evaluated to determine the strength of any publicly-available policies relevant to tropical forest-sector investment decision-making, and subsequently scored against a range of criteria incorporating environmental, social and governance standards. Each of the major banks was allocated a score on the scope of its policies and its environmental and social standards.

    The data and assessments presented in this website have not been provided by or authorized by any of the financial institutions or clients concerned. While every attempt has been made to research and present data and assessments accurately and objectively, it is difficult to guarantee complete accuracy. This is not least because of the lack of consistency and transparency in how financial institutions and forest-risk sector clients record key financial and company information. Where there has been ambiguity in source information of financial services, the authors of this website have acted cautiously, resulting in a likely underestimation of the true amounts of finance involved. The authors are committed to correcting any identified errors at the earliest opportunity.

    Timeline of updates to the database and bank policy assessments:

    Sept 2016: First version of bank policy assessments and database launched, assessing financial services provided to 50 companies for their forest-risk sector production and primary processing activities.

    June 2017: Database expanded to cover over 180 companies. Methodology revised to cover entire forest-risk sector supply chains, including trading and manufacturing (see Methodology).


    What was the rationale for selecting the 183 company groups?

    The 183 company groups selected for this study are involved in the supply chains of the pulp and paper, palm oil, rubber or timber sectors in Southeast Asia – collectively referred to as ‘tropical forest-risk sectors’. This list is intended to be a representative sample of companies impacting tropical forests, but is not an exclusive list of all companies impacting tropical forests. Other factors that led to their selection include the size of the company and land area of operation, access to information on their financing, and known negative impacts of their operations on tropical forests. Please see the Methodology for further information.

    Are all of these companies engaged in harmful operations?

    Not all of the 183 companies selected for the website are engaged in harmful operations. However, all are engaged in large scale operations in tropical forests that have a high risk of causing deforestation and associated social impacts. Banks that do business with these companies are therefore highly exposed to deforestation risks.

    Which countries are included under Southeast Asia?

    Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.

    What is the basis of the finanancial information included in the website?

    Financial databases Thomson EIKON, Bloomberg IJGlobal, TradeFinanceAnalytics, company register filings, as well as publicly available company reports, were used to identify corporate loans, credit and underwriting facilities provided to the selected companies in the period 2010-2016. Investments in bonds and shares of the selected companies were identified through Thomson EIKON and Bloomberg at the most recently available filing date in May 2017. These financial databases provide access to real time market data, news, fundamental data, analytics, trading and messaging tools. Please see the Methodology for further information.

    What can I do if my bank is financing companies included on the website?

    As a first step, we recommend you check whether the bank has any policies governing their financing of tropical forest-risk sectors. Our evaluation of major bank’s policies are available here (provide link to matrix). If your bank is not included in this evaluation, you could check your bank’s website or ask them directly what policies they have in place to protect forests and people through forest-sector lending. Depending on their response, you might want to ask them to implement a policy, or you might want to find an alternative bank. Our research finds that banks with policies are still financing companies linked to deforestation. Therefore, having a policy is not a guarantee of responsible financing, but may indicate the bank is engaging their clients to improve their performance, or, they may be failing to make sure their policies are being implemented by clients. You are welcome to contact us at info@forestsandfinance.org if you require further assistance.

    What can investors do to stop deforestation?

    Investors can take a two pronged approach by addressing 1) the companies directly engaged in tropical forest-risk sectors and 2) the banks financing those companies. For both types of companies, investors should demand full disclosure of risks and application of robust ESG standards and due diligence processes. See page 4 of the Forests & Finance Brochure for more recommendations for investors.

    Who are the organizations that are hosting this website?

    Forestsandfinance.org is a joint project of Rainforest Action Network, Tuk Indonesia, and Profundo. Click on the organization name for more information on what we do individually.

    What’s the difference between the Forests and Finance policy assessment and that of the Environmental Paper Network ‘Red Lines’?

    1.       The Red Lines assessment is global, whereas forestsandfinance.org is concerned with South-East Asia

    2.       The Red Lines assessment is focused on the pulp and paper industry, whereas forestsandfinance.org covers all forest commodities.

    3.       The Red Lines assessment is concerned with the whole production supply chain, including pollution from pulp mills etc, whereas forestsandfinance.org focuses on policies about forests.

    4.       The Red Lines assessment studied banks that are either known to be the largest financiers of the global pulp and paper industry or involved in one or more projects or companies identified as ‘dodgy deals’, whereas forestsandfinance.org is potentially interested in any banks with clients involved in South-East Asian forests.

    5.       The Red Lines assessment does not give banks a score for their policies, whereas forestsandfinance.org does.

    Top 5 Forest-risk clients
    Client Amount (USD Million)
    Assets (USD Billion)

    Policy Assessment

    Policy Overview

    Scope of commitments

    Environmental standards

    Social standards

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