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Solomon Islands’ banks shut down logging company accounts

Banks in the Solomon Islands have shut down bank accounts belonging to several foreign logging companies, reports Business Advantage. The move will make it “almost impossible” to receive payments for timber exports.

The banks, which include Westpac Banking Corp, ANZ and Bank of South Pacific, didn’t provide a reason for the decision, but a spokesman for the Solomon Islands’ Central Bank cited concern over the impact of logging.

“This will affect the export receipts for the logging industry. That is the concern of the Central Bank, that they will not have valid bank accounts to receive the export proceeds,” the spokesman was quoted as saying.

The forests of the Solomon Islands have been heavily logged since the early 1990s. While U.N. data suggests that only 5,000-6,000 hectares of forest are cleared per year, a larger area is affected by timber extraction. Much of the timber is destined for China.

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