BBVA is a Spanish financing group that offers services in retail banking, business banking, investment banking, insurance and asset management. It operates in 35 countries, serving about 56 million customers worldwide. As of 30 June 2016, BBVA held more than €740 million in assets[i].

BBVA’s Rules of Conduct in Defence state: “BBVA will not invest nor provide financial services to companies directly involved in the development, production, testing or maintenance of nuclear weapons for countries that are not signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), or countries that act in breach of the NPT.[ii] This also includes dual-use items and specifically developed delivery systems.[iii]

The exclusion policy applies to BBVA’s commercial banking and investment banking activities. It also covers the investments made for BBVA’s own account. However, the policy does not cover all investments made on behalf of third parties, discretionary mandates, and internal passive funds. Clients can request BBVA to invest their assets in companies that do not meet the Rules of Conduct in Defence.[iv]

BBVA maintains an exclusion list to implement its policy based on research by Sustainalytics, but the list is not publicly available.[v]

BBVA was also found to have several investments in nuclear weapon producing companies identified by this report, more information can be found in the Hall of Shame.

We commend BBVA for adopting a public policy on nuclear weapons, We recommend BBVA exclude all nuclear weapon producers regardless of their country of origin. Also, it should expand the scope of its policy to cover all financial products it offers, including all assets managed We look forward to engaging with BBVA, so a strong and comprehensively applied policy may be listed in the Hall of Fame in a future update of this report.

BBVA’s policy on nuclear weapons is leaky; send them a message and tell them to fix it!

To send BBVA a message, please go to this contact form:

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You can write your own message, or copy this message into the contact form.

Congratulations BBVA. I saw on that you have a policy limiting investments in nuclear weapons. I think it’s really important that you share my concern about these weapons, and I appreciate that there is a public policy.

However, the policy does have some loopholes and the Don’t Bank on the Bomb report shows how you still might invest in nuclear weapons producers. I am concerned about this, because BBVA also invests my money and I don’t want to be associated in any way with the production of these inhumane weapons.

It would be great if BBVA made the following changes to make the policy airtight:
• Exclude all nuclear weapon producers regardless of their country of origin.
• Expand the scope of the policy to cover all financial products it offers, including all assets managed.

With kind regards,

Or :

Tweet: Even @BBVA knows investing in #nuclear weapons should be restricted. Strengthen the policy & say #goodbyenukes!


Website: Twitter: Facebook: @bbva


[i] BBVA, “Corporate Information”, BBVA Website (, viewed 30 September 2016; BBVA, “BBVA in 2015”, page 193, available at, viewed 30 September 2016.

[ii] BBVA, “Rules of Conduct in Defence”, May 2014, page 6, available at, viewed 30 September 2016.

[iii] BBVA, written response to PAX dated April 23 2015.

[iv] BBVA, written response to PAX dated April 23 2015.

[v] BBVA, written response to PAX dated April 23 2015.


Who divests?

Policy Research

The financial institutions presented all have publicly available policies – or summaries thereof – excluding investments in nuclear weapons producing companies. Since the banking group usually sets the investment policy and since the group directly or indirectly supervises its subsidiaries, we research the group policy only.

The Hall of Fame section highlights financial institutions that have comprehensive policies preventing investments in nuclear weapon producers. These policies meet all of the criteria.
The Runners-Up provides information on existing policies and makes recommendations for how to strengthen them.


Hall of Fame finanical institution policies policy must:

1. Exclude all nuclear weapon associated companies

The policy excludes:

  • whole companies not only nuclear weapons related projects
  • companies associated with nuclear weapons including through joint ventures
  • companies regardless of their country of origin
  • companies regardless their country of operation

2. Exclude all nuclear weapon associated activities

The policy excludes companies associated with:

  • development, testing, production, maintenance or trade of nuclear weapons related technology, parts, products or services, and;
  • delivery systems such as missiles, that are specifically developed for nuclear tasks. This includes technology that is designed for ‘dual use’ (military and civilian) but excludes technology that is not designed for, but can be used in nuclear warfare. It does not include delivery platforms such as bombers and submarines.

3. Apply to all the institution’s products and services

The institution applies the policy:

  • for the entire Group, including subsidiaries
  • in all markets
  • to all asset management classes – passive and active, internal and external.
  • to all existing and future investments.

The financial institutions in the Hall of Fame have not engaged in any financial relationships with any of the nuclear weapon associated companies listed in this report. The policies of over 80 financial institutions were analysed for this report.

Runners-Up are financial institutions whose nuclear weapons policy does not meet all of the above criteria .


To identify financial institutions with a policy on nuclear weapons, we research a variety of sources: NGO reports, screening-agency information, financial institution reports and websites, information from campaigners and other public sources. For practical reasons, the scope of this report is limited to those financial institutions that have an investment policy or a summary of that policy in English. The list of institutions in the Hall of Fame is not exhaustive. We welcome additions from those able to provide them.

For the purposes of this report, nuclear weapon producers are defined as companies that produce key components to test, develop, maintain, modernise and deploy nuclear weapons. There are countless companies involved in the broad nuclear weapons complex, and this report only details those most heavily involved in the production and maintenance of nuclear warheads and their delivery systems (such as missiles and launch tubes). The report does not include companies involved in the production of delivery platforms (such as nuclear capable bombers and submarines).

In advance of this report, all financial institutions not previously reported on were asked to fill in a standardised questionnaire with detailed questions on the scope and content of their policies. Financial institutions that did not respond are not included. Of the financial institutions listed in the Hall of Fame, several publish a list of companies that they exclude from their investment universe. The companies excluded are listed in the profiles of the financial institutions as a resource. Some financial institutions in the Hall of Fame work with an inclusion list rather than an exclusion list, while others do not make their lists public.

Each financial institution profile in the Hall of Fame includes a brief description of the institution, a summary of key policy elements, and the exclusion list if applicable. We researched investments in companies on our producers list for each of the financial institutions listed in the Hall of Fame. None of the financial institutions listed in the Hall of Fame invest in any of the 27 identified nuclear weapon producers.