BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is a French bank that offers services in corporate and investment banking, private banking and asset management. It operates in 75 countries.[i]

BNP Paribas’ Corporate Social Responsibility Sector Policy on Defence states: “BNP Paribas does not wish to be involved in the provision of financial products and services or investments in companies involved in the manufacture, trade or storage of “controversial weapons”, or any other activity involving controversial weapons.”[ii] This includes all specifically designed components that represent a significant building block in the functioning of the weapon. BNP Paribas considers nuclear weapons to be controversial weapons. However, the bank adds that its policy does not apply to companies that contribute only to nuclear weapon programs in NATO Member States.[iii] BNP defines a nuclear weapon as “a device that is capable of releasing nuclear energy in an uncontrolled manner and which has a group of characteristics that are appropriate for use for warlike purposes.” This definition is drawn from the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco).[iv]

The exclusion policy applies to all commercial banking and investment banking activities, as well as to BNP Paribas’ asset management arm.[v] An exception is made for assets managed on behalf of third parties and for passively managed funds.[vi] The exclusion policy covers only new clients and new financing agreements.[vii] Existing loan contracts not in compliance with BNP Paribas’ policies are discussed with clients and can be terminated within a specific timeframe.[viii]

BNP Paribas currently excludes around 121 controversial weapon producers. It does not publish the list.[ix]

We commend BNP Paribas for adopting a public policy on nuclear weapons. We recommend BNP Paribas exclude all companies involved in nuclear weapon programs, regardless of their country of origin. In addition, BNP Paribas should apply its exclusion policy to all financial products and services it offer, inclusing  asset management activities and third party investments and cover old as well as new financing agreements. We look forward to engaging with BNP Paribas, so a strong and comprehensively applied policy may be listed in the Hall of Fame in a future update of this report.

 

BNP Paribas' policy on nuclear weapons is leaky. Tell them to fix it!

Congratulations BNP Paribas!

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Congratulations BNP Paribas. I saw on www.dontbankonthebomb.com 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 BNP Paribas 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 BNP Paribas made the following changes to make the policy airtight:
• Exclude all companies involved in nuclear weapon programs, regardless of their country of   origin;
• Apply the exclusion policy to all financial products and services it offer, inclusing asset   management activities and third party investments;
• Cover old as well as new financing agreements.

With kind regards,

 

Or :

Tweet: Even @BNPPARIBAS_NET knows investing in #nuclear weapons should be restricted. Strengthen the policy&say #goodbyenukes. http://ctt.ec/ce1xj+

 

Website: Twitter: Facebook:
http://www.bnpparibas.com/ @BNPPARIBAS_NET https://www.facebook.com/bnpparibas.net

 


 

[i]           BNP Paribas, “About us”, website BNP Paribas (http://www.bnpparibas.com/en/about-us), viewed 8 May 2015.

[ii]           BNP Paribas, “Corporate Social Responsibility Sector Policy – Defence”, p.4, available at http://bit.ly/1IQpTbh, viewed 8 May 2015.

[iii]          BNP Paribas, “Corporate Social Responsibility Sector Policy – Defence”, p.4, available at. http://bit.ly/1IQpTbh, viewed 8 May 2015

[iv]          BNP Paribas, “Corporate Social Responsibility Sector Policy – Defence”, p.8, available at http://bit.ly/1IQpTbh, viewed 8 May 2015.

[v]           BNP Paribas, “Corporate Social Responsibility Sector Policy – Defence”, p.3, available at http://bit.ly/1IQpTbh, viewed 8 May 2015.

[vi]          BNP Paribas, “THEAM: 1st European industry player to adopt indices excluding controversial weapons for its range of indexed open-ended funds”, 16 December 2013, available at http://docs.noodls.com/viewDoc.asp?filename=119426/EXT/4AFE818C34FC924B8EADCC3FB8FB69E769CBE51D_79B0444FAF093279A2DC84B434EC3951EA4F6614.PDF, viewed 8 May 2015; BNP Paribas, “Corporate Social Responsibility Sector Policy – Defence”, p.3, available at http://bit.ly/1IQpTbh, viewed 8 May 2015; MSCI, “MSCI ESG Ex Controversial Weapons”, website MSCI (http://www.msci.com/products/indexes/esg/ex_controversial_weapons/), viewed 8 May 2015.

[vii]          BNP Paribas, “Corporate Social Responsibility Sector Policy – Defence”, p.3, available at http://bit.ly/1IQpTbh, viewed 3 July 2014.

[viii]         BNP Paribas, written response to Profundo dated 22 July 2014.

[ix]          BNP Paribas, written response to PAX dated 24 April 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.

Criteria:

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 .

Methodology

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 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 thirteen financial institutions listed in the Hall of Fame, six 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. Three other financial institutions in the Hall of Fame work with an inclusion list rather than an exclusion list. The remaining four 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 26 identified nuclear weapon producers.