Several European banks and companies, including Barclays Bank, ING Barings and Deutsche Bank, have been accused of contributing to the destruction of one of the world’s richest rainforests on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

In a new report, WWF says financial institutions and export credit agencies from around the world share responsibility for the devastation as they issued loans and guarantees for two giant pulp mills near the Tesso Nilo rainforest.

Sixty-four per cent of the forest has been converted into industrial plantation since the mid-1980s.

The green group is now calling on these organisations to develop strict investment screens to avoid destructive investments in the future.

It is talking to Indonesian authorities in a bid to have Tesso Nilo designated as a national park.