Hawai‘i Democratic Party Leaves First Hawaiian Bank Over DAPL

Jan 31, 2017

Credit Sierra Club Hawaii

The Hawaii Democratic Party is pulling its business from First Hawaiian Bank in support of Dakota pipeline protests.  First Hawaiian’s principal shareholder is BNP Paribas, a French bank that owns 82% of the company.  BNP Paribas is one of 17 banks investing in the Dakota Access Pipeline, and has individually invested more than $400 million dollars into the project.

Credit Sierra Club Hawaii

The Sierra Club of Hawaii says organizations and individuals have withdrawn more than dollars $1.6 million from First Hawaiian since the initial call for action this past December.  In a statement yesterday, Hawaii Democratic Party Chair Tim Vandeveer urged people to back companies that support Native Rights and the environment.

In a statement, First Hawaiian said we are respectful of the concerns being expressed. First Hawaiian Bank has no involvement with the Dakota Access Pipeline.  We have not made any investment in this project. Our focus remains on our commitment to serving our customers and our community. First Hawaiian Bank’s core company values of giving back to our community and supporting individuals, families and businesses have remained consistent throughout our 158 years in Hawaii.  While BNPP is a major shareholder, First Hawaiian Bank is an entirely separate entity.  As a publicly traded company First Hawaiian has many shareholders and as such, does not control the actions of its shareholders. 

In a different release, BNP Paribas said it was reducing its stake in the company, selling more than 28 million shares of First Hawaiian stock.  The move would reduce BNP’s stake in First Hawaiian to around 62%.