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Bill Oddie blasts HSBC over 'rainforest destruction'

Bill Oddie accused HSBC of funding the desecration of rainforests at the banking giant's annual general meeting.

HSBC's board members were confronted by the 71-year-old birdwatcher and broadcaster over its links to firms operating in Borneo.

Oddie, who used his position as a shareholder to raise the issue, said, "What's happening is that the logging companies have got the confidence and power and reputation because they have been funded by HSBC to expand and they are expanding across the world".

Bill Oddie pictured visiting the World Land Trust stand at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Credit: Anthony Upton/PA Wire

He added, "There's a huge desecration which at the root is funded by HSBC".

HSBC said it requires those banking with it to operate "legally and sustainably to protect the environment and local people" and has stopped providing services to 68 clients who failed to meet its standards.

Chief executive Stuart Gulliver urged Oddie to work with HSBC to tackle the issue, saying, "Give us the chance to be a force for good".