Don't bank on the bomb
The number of financial institutions that have comprehensive policies to exclude investments in nuclear weapons is growing, finds the most recent Don’t Bank on the Bomb report, ‘Rejecting Risk’, released in January 2022.
The report, which is published by Pax, the largest peace organisation in the Netherlands, examines the role of private companies and their financiers involved in the production of nuclear weapons. It profiles financial institutions that had some form of policy to restrict investments in the companies involved in the manufacture, development, deployment, stockpiling, testing, or use of nuclear weapons.
This year’s report profiled 101 financial institutions with nuclear exclusions policies, an increase of 24 since 2019. The increase has been driven in large part by the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), with many institutions citing this as justification.
The TPNW was agreed in 2017 and came into force on 22 January 2021, making it illegal under international law to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons. The treaty was adopted by two-thirds of UN member states, but wasn’t signed by any of the world’s nuclear powers, meaning it does not apply to them directly, though it does put pressure on them, including pressuring their financial institutions to address the issue.