|KBL European Private Bankers S.A. Luxembourg and KBC Belgium, and Open Secrets, and CALS|
|Description||Specific instance alleging a non-observance of the Guidelines by the banks, KBL European Private Bankers S.A. and KBC Belgium.|
|Theme(s)||General policies, Disclosure|
|Date||24 Apr 2018|
|Host country(ies)||South Africa|
|Industry sector||Financial and insurance activities|
Read the initial assessment issued by the Belgian NCP – 24 June 2019
Read the initial assessment issued by the Luxembourg NCP – 28 June 2019
On 24 April 2019, the Belgian NCP and Luxembourg NCP received a specific instance from two South African NGOs, Open Secrets and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), alleging that the two banks, KBC (Belgium) and KBL (Luxembourg), did not observe the OECD Guidelines.
The specific instance claims that from 1977 to 1994, the banks, which at the time were sister companies in the Almanij holding company, aided the South African pro-apartheid government in implementing a money-laundering network that allowed the South African government to illegaly purchase arms, despite mandatory United Nations arm sanctions. The submitters requested:
1. A public apology by KBC and KBL to the South African government and people for having supported the apartheid regime and for having breached the arms embargo;
2. Punitive action against the two banks;
3. An acknowledgement of a breach of the OECD Guidelines;
4. The implementation of a monitoring mechanism on a European level to ensure that the banks are not accomplices of human rights violations in relation to their activities.
The Belgian and Luxembourg NCPs split the specific instance, which resulted in the Belgian NCP handling the specific instance related to KBC, while the Luxembourg NCP managed the case concerning KBL.
On 24 June 2019, the Belgian NCP, concluded its initial assessment, deciding to not accept the case for further examination as the submitters’ requests were out of scope of the OECD Guidelines and exceeded the mandate and competence of the NCP.