ICAN report 'Don't Bank on the Bomb' launches

By staff writers
6 Mar 2012

ICAN - the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons - has today (6 March) issued a report on the global financing of the nuclear weapons industry.

The comprehensive study, entitled Don’t Bank on the Bomb, identifies more than 300 banks, pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers in 30 countries with substantial investments in nuclear arms producers.

The report provides details of financial transactions with 20 companies heavily involved in the manufacture, maintenance and modernisation of US, British, French and Indian nuclear forces.

In a foreword to the report, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu calls on financial institutions to “do the right thing and assist, rather than impede, efforts to eliminate the threat of radioactive incineration”, noting that divestment was a vital part of the successful campaign to end apartheid in South Africa.

“Today, the same tactic can – and must – be employed to challenge man’s most evil creation: the nuclear bomb. No one should be profiting from this terrible industry of death, which threatens us all”, he said.

Nations
with nuclear weapons spend over US$100 billion each year on maintaining and modernising their nuclear forces, with much of this work being carried out by corporations such as BAE Systems in the United Kingdom, Lockheed Martin in the United States, Thales in France and Larsen & Toubro in India.

Financial institutions invest in these companies by providing loans and purchasing shares and bonds. Of the 322 financial institutions identified in the report, roughly half are based in the United States and a third in Europe. Asian, Australian and Middle Eastern institutions are also listed.

Those most heavily involved in financing nuclear arms makers include Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase in the United States; BNP Paribas in France; Deutsche Bank in Germany; Mistubishi UJF Financial in Japan; Banco Santander in Spain; Credit Suisse and UBS in Switzerland; and Barclays, HSBC, and the part-publicly owned banks Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland in Britain.

The UK is home to 41 of the 322 financial institutions found to be supporting major nuclear weapons companies – the second largest involvement among the 30 countries covered by the report.

Five of the twenty major nuclear weapons companies listed in the report – Babcock International, BAE Systems, Redhall Group, Rolls Royce and Serco Group – are UK-based.

in addition to making the ethical case for divestment, the report also warns of the reputational risks associated with financing nuclear arms, and highlights the positive role that financial institutions could play in the quest for nuclear-weapon-free world.

Read the report 'Don't Bank on the Bomb' here: http://www.dontbankonthebomb.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/DivestmentRe...

[Ekk/4]

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 England & Wales License. Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.