Due diligence in the financial sector in Norway
Lead NCPNorway
Supporting NCP(s)United States
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the trade unions United Steel Workers and Birlesik Metal IS regarding the activities of Crown Holdings International and the entity Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), as a minority shareholder, in Norway.
Theme(s)Human rights
Date10 Nov 2014
Host country(ies)Norway
SourceTrade Union
Industry sectorFinancial and insurance activities

Read the combined initial assessment and final statement by the Norwegian NCP concluding the specific instance - 2 July 2015

Read the press release

In November 2014, the Norwegian NCP received a request for review from the trade unions United Steel Workers (USW) and Birlesik Metal IS alleging that US company Crown Holdings Inc. and Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) had breached the human rights provisions of the Guidelines.

The allegations were  based on the assumption that Crown Holdings, domiciled in the USA, had not complied with the OECD Guidelines. The trade unions had asked NBIM to contact the company with a view to getting it to stop its alleged undesirable activities, which were stated to include violations of labour rights in its Canadian and Turkish subsidiaries.

The request raised questions about what type of due diligence can be expected of a minority shareholder, and questions of principle concerning application of the Guidelines in relation to financial institutions.

During the initial assessment process, the NCP referred to an earlier specific instance involving Forum for Development and Environment and NBIM, at the conclusion of which, the NCP issued recommendations for NBIM on how to comply with the Guidelines. The NCP found that these recommendations should be maintained.

After completing its initial assessment, the NCP concluded that it would not further the purpose of the OECD Guidelines to undertake a new consideration of the same questions of principles concerning the financial sector’s compliance with the Guidelines so shortly after the last consideration, and at the same time as the ongoing process at the OECD on specifying expectations of the financial sector vis-à-vis the Guidelines, including of minority shareholders. Accordingly, the NCP concluded the specific instance without further examination. The detailed reasons for this decision are published in the NCP's combined initial assessment and final statement