Kenya: Co-Op Bank Joins Team in Illegal Wildlife Trade Fight


James Kariuki, The Nation via AllAfrica

Date Published
Co-operative Bank has signed an information-sharing pact with the United for Wildlife’s (UfW) financial taskforce to stem financial flows that fuel illegal wildlife trade.

The Kenyan lender joins HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of America and JPMorgan among others who share financial intelligence helping detect and thereby deter use of its platforms to facilitate the dirty deals.

Coop Bank MD Gideon Muriuki who spoke after signing a partnership with the United for Wildlife’s (UfW) financial taskforce, said the lender will expose financial transactions related to illegal trade in wildlife activities.

“The signing up means the bank has now joined the UfW financial taskforce committing to fight the illegal trafficking in wildlife, by way of building illegal wildlife trade into existing financial crime compliance programs. Co-op Bank also commits to working with like-minded lenders, share good practices and support one another in fighting IWT,” he said on Thursday.

UfW financial taskforce chairman Lord Hague of Richmond pledged support to the bank’s commitment saying this will improve detection and disruption of IWT thereby discouraging poaching, which continues to deplete populations of elephants and rhinos.

Muriuki observed that Co-op bank championed wildlife protection via its cards emblazoned with the ‘elephant in your wallet’ motto and the Jumbo Junior savings account’s ‘elebank’-shaped savings box, a marketing strategy that resonated with its clientele.

UfW’s taskforce was launched two years ago in London and has grown to include a network of thirty financial institutions across the globe.