ASN Bank is the largest ethical bank in The Netherlands. It promotes a sustainable society by supporting and investing in socially responsible businesses and organisations.[i] In 2015, ASN Bank served approximately 630,000 customers and managed over 13 billion euros.[ii]
ASN Bank’s Issue Paper on Human Rights sets absolute criteria for the arms sector. Consequently, ASN Bank refrains from all funding and investments in companies that are involved in the development, manufacture, distribution of or trade in arms, therefore excluding financial relationships with all nuclear, controversial and conventional weapon producing companies. For a precise definition of arms, ASN Bank refers to the Common Military List of the European Union.[iii] This extensive list of weapons includes radioactive materials, that are “adapted for use in war” to produce casualties in humans or animals, degrade equipment or damage crops or the environment.”[iv]
ASN Bank’s exclusion policy is systematically applied to all its financial products including commercial banking, investment banking and asset management activities, regardless of whether they are managed internally or by external asset managers.[v]
ASN Bank pro-actively supports the banning of nuclear weapons.[vi] Instead of using an exclusion list, ASN Bank only invests in a company after a thorough examination of its activities and policies. The resulting ‘inclusion list’ is based on the research conducted by the sustainability analysts of ASN Bank, which in its turn is based on information provided by companies and findings of data providers EIRIS and Sustainalytics, news reports and reports by civil society organisations.[vii] The list is published on the ASN Bank website. If a company is taken off the inclusion list, ASN will notify the company and publish the reason on its website.[viii]
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I saw on www.dontbankonthebomb.com that you have a comprehensive policy prohibiting investments in nuclear weapons producing companies.
Financial institutions like yours are helping to build the stigma around these inhumane weapons, something that is urgently needed. Nuclear weapons are the only weapon of mass destruction that’s not explicitly outlawed through an international treaty- and thanks to your policy we can show how important and necessary it is that all of society act urgently to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons once and for all.
Thank you for your help in creating a nuclear weapons free world.
With kind regards,
[i] ASN Bank, “Over de ASN Bank”, website ASN Bank (https://www.asnbank.nl/algemeen/over-asn-bank.html), viewed 2 October 2016.
[ii] ASN Bank, “in het kort, website ASN Bank (http://www.asnbankverslag.nl/in-het-kort/), viewed 3 August 2016.
[iii] ASN Bank, “ASN Bank Issuepaper Human Rights”, November 2011, p.4, available at https://www.asnbank.nl/web/file?uuid=5439ece0-6385-499e-a552-d0fe5e3b3f50&owner=9ccef6a9-c451-451a-963a-e931fe46c086&contentid=2212, viewed 22 September 2016.
[iv] European Union, “Common Military List of the European Union”, March 2014, page 7, available at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.C_.2014.107.01.0001.01.ENG, viewed 22 September 2016.
[v] ASN Bank, “ASN Bank Issuepaper Human Rights”, November 2011, p.4, available at https://www.asnbank.nl/web/file?uuid=5439ece0-6385-499e-a552-d0fe5e3b3f50&owner=9ccef6a9-c451-451a-963a-e931fe46c086&contentid=2212, viewed 22 September 2016; ASN Bank, written response to Profundo dated 27 May 2014.
[vi] ASN Bank, ” Verbod op kernwapens stap dichterbij”, website ASN Bank (http://nieuws.asnbank.nl/verbod-op-kernwapens-stap-dichterbij/), viewed 22 September 2016.
[vii] ASN Bank, written response to Profundo dated 12 May 2014.
[viii] ASN Bank, “Waar(de) op de kaart”, website ASN Bank (http://www.asnbank.nl/particulier/wat-doen-wij/waar-gaat-uw-geld-naartoe.html), viewed 22 September 2016; ASN Bank, “Hoge cijfers voor transparantie”, website ASN Bank (http://nieuws.asnbank.nl/hoge-cijfers-voor-transparantie/), viewed 22 September 2016; ASN Bank, written response to Profundo dated 27 May 2014.