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RBS slammed for investment in nuclear weapons

Nov 12

Written by:
12/11/2015 12:28  RssIcon

New 'Banking on the Bomb' report


A new report out today slammed UK state-owned bank RBS for its heavy investment in nuclear weapons.

The report, Don’t Bank on the Bomb, published today by Dutch peace organization PAX, outlines how the institution has $6973million invested in the nuclear weapons industry.



The company has investments in 21 out of the 26 nuclear weapons-producing companies outlined in the report, more than any other UK bank.

The report also identifies 382 banks, insurance companies and pension funds which have made USD 493 billion available to nuclear weapons producers since January 2012.

The top 10 investors alone provided more than USD 209 billion to the identified nuclear weapon producers. All of the top 10 are based in the USA.

The top 3: Capital Group, State Street, and Blackrock, have more than 95 billion USD combined invested in the producers named in this report.

In Europe, the most heavily invested are BNP Paribas (France), Royal Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom) and Crédit Agricole (France).

In the Asia-Pacific region, the biggest investors are Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (Japan), Life Insurance Corporation of India, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial (Japan).


How the other UK banks faired:

  • HSBC $4,469m
  • Barclays $5,881m
  • Lloyds Banking Group $1,921m


However it is not all bad news.

The research shows that 53 financial institutions prohibit or limit investments in nuclear weapon producers. This is a 150% increase compared to last year’s report.

The authors say that this overall increase illustrates the growing stigmatization of nuclear weapons because of the renewed focus on their humanitarian consequences. 

Wilbert van der Zeijden, co-author of the report:

“No bank, pension fund or insurance company should have financial relations with companies involved in weapons of mass destruction. In the case of a nuclear detonation, the humanitarian consequences will last for decades and effective aid will not be possible. The only way to prevent this from happening is to outlaw and eliminate nuclear weapons. Stigmatizing these inhumane and indiscriminate weapons, and excluding them from investments, will help.”


Hall of Fame

There are 13 financial institutions listed in the report’s Hall of Fame who do not invest in any nuclear weapon producers. 

These institutions have outstanding policies preventing any type of investment in any company with association to nuclear weapons.

The Co-op Bank was the only UK bank to make it into the Hall of Fame.

This comes on the back of the company re-establishing and strengthening their ethical policy after pressure from Ethical Consumer's Save Our Bank campaign.

The researchers are now calling on all financial institutions to stop any investments into weapons of mass destruction, and on governments to ban nuclear weapons once and for all.


Ethical Consumer gave a presentation on Divestment to campaigners and Members of Parliament. Read the blog here





This story has been added to our corporate database. The database powers all our live product guides, giving the score for each company on our rankings tables. Find out more about how we rate companies.








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