SOMO and other NGOs welcome the fact that FMO has ceased negotiations on a $60 million loan to the Honduran bank Ficohsa. Unfortunately this does not dispel all our concerns. For instance, we do not know why and how FMO came to this decision. FMO also continues to have financial ties with Ficohsa, including a 6% stake. On Monday 17 May, civil society organisations, including SOMO, sent a letter to FMO expressing our concerns about the planned loan. We called on FMO not to provide the loan.
The concerns about Ficohsa have been known for quite some time and we previously expressed them to FMO in our letter in July 2020. To date, FMO has not met and meaningfully engaged with local stakeholders. In our view, this is in conflict with international standards on responsible investment to which FMO has committed itself, such as the UN Guiding Principle on Business & Human Rights, OECD guidelines for MNEs and the IFC performance standards.
Read the letter to FMO sent on Monday 17 May 2021 below.