Oddie rages at HSBC over forest ‘desecration’

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Banking giant HSBC felt the wrath of TV’s Bill Oddie as it was accused of funding the desecration of forests.

The bank board, more used to dealing with anger over bonuses and money laundering, was confronted at its annual general meeting by the 71-year-old comic actor and naturalist over links to firms operating in Borneo.

Oddie, who won fame in The Goodies, backs campaigners who say HSBC is funding the destruction of rainforests by logging firms, displacing indigenous communities and wiping out the habitats of endangered orangutans.

He used his position as a shareholder to speak passionately at the AGM in London. He said: “The logging companies have got the confidence and power and reputation because they have been funded by HSBC to expand across the world. There’s a huge desecration which at the root is funded by HSBC.”

Oddie appeared to be in the minority at the meeting, where he was heckled as he spoke.

Stuart Gulliver, the bank’s chief executive, urged Oddie to work with it to tackle the issue. He said: “Give us the chance to be a force for good.”