Mozambique campaigners visit London to hold banks to account for odious loans

Three campaigners from the Mozambique Budget Monitoring Forum (FMO) will visit London from 20-23 May to seek to hold to account the banks behind the $2 billion odious loans scandal.

In 2013 and 2014 the London branches of Credit Suisse and VTB arranged $2 billion in loans to three state-owned companies in Mozambique. The loans were not approved by the Mozambique parliament, breaking the country’s constitution. At least $700 million of the money is unaccounted for.

A US Department of Justice investigation has led to the arrests of three former Credit Suisse bankers, as well as a former employee of contractor Privinvest and former Mozambique Finance Minister Manuel Chang. However, no action has yet been taken against the banks. UK regulators and law enforcement agencies have taken no action against either the banks or individuals involved.

Denise Namburete from the Mozambique Budget Monitoring Forum said:

“The London-based banks must be held to account for their role in this scandal. The loans have caused an economic crisis in Mozambique with rising prices for basic necessities, and now falling government spending. We are appalled that UK authorities have failed to take any action against Credit Suisse and VTB. We are coming to the UK to demand that they do so.

“The people of Mozambique had no say over and no benefit from these loans. We should not have to pay one cent on them. It is the individuals and companies inside and outside Mozambique that benefitted who should be made to pay.”

The campaigners will be speaking at an event in the UK parliament on Tuesday 21 May from 16:00-17:00 alongside Dame Caroline Spelman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Dan Carden MP and Director of Jubilee Debt Campaign Sarah-Jayne Clifton.

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