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General Media Release
Global Study Reveals Who’s Financing Nuclear Arms Makers
5 March 2012
A groundbreaking report released today (5 March 2012) by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) identifies more than 300 banks, pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers in 30 countries with substantial investments in nuclear arms producers. The 180-page study, Don’t Bank on the Bomb: The Global Financing of Nuclear Weapons Producers, provides details of financial transactions with 20 companies that are heavily involved in the manufacture, maintenance and modernization of US, British, French and Indian nuclear forces.
Nuclear disarmament campaigners are appealing to financial institutions to stop investing in the nuclear arms industry. “Any use of nuclear weapons would violate international law and have catastrophic humanitarian consequences. By investing in nuclear weapons producers, financial institutions are in effect facilitating the build-up of nuclear forces. This undermines efforts to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world and heightens the risk that one day these ultimate weapons of mass destruction will be used again,” said ICAN campaigner Tim Wright, a co-author of the report.
South African activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, a supporter of ICAN, contributed the foreword to the report, in which he called on financial institutions to “do the right thing and assist, rather than impede, efforts to eliminate the threat of radioactive incineration”, noting that divestment was a vital part of the successful campaign to end apartheid in South Africa. “Today, the same tactic can – and must – be employed to challenge man’s most evil creation: the nuclear bomb. No one should be profiting from this terrible industry of death, which threatens us all,” he wrote.
Nuclear-armed nations spend in excess of US$100 billion each year maintaining and modernizing their nuclear forces, according to the report. Much of this work is carried out by corporations such as BAE Systems and Babcock International in the United Kingdom, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman in the United States, Thales and Safran in France, and Larsen & Toubro in India. Financial institutions invest in these companies by providing loans and purchasing shares and bonds.
Of the 322 financial institutions identified in the report, roughly half are based in the United States and a third in Europe. Asian, Australian and Middle Eastern institutions are also listed. The institutions most heavily involved in financing nuclear arms makers include Bank of America, BlackRock and JP Morgan Chase in the United States; BNP Paribas in France; Allianz and Deutsche Bank in Germany; Mitsubishi UJF Financial in Japan; BBVA and Banco Santander in Spain; Credit Suisse and UBS in Switzerland; and Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland in Britain.
The report emphasizes the humanitarian, legal and environmental arguments for divestment, noting the unique destructive potential of nuclear weapons. Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, writes in the report: “Anyone with a bank account or pension fund has the power to choose to invest his or her money ethically – in a way that does not contribute to this earth-endangering enterprise.” In addition to stating the ethical case for divestment, the report also warns of the reputational risks associated with financing nuclear arms, and highlights the positive role that financial institutions could play in the quest for a world free from such weapons.
Country-Specific Media Releases
- Belgium: Belgische Financiële Instellingen Investeren in Kernwapens
- France: Les fabricants français d’armes nucléaires épinglés par la campagne mondiale pour le “désinvestissement” lancée par ICAN
- Germany: Deutsche Finanzinstitute unterstützen Unternehmen bei der Herstellung und Modernisierung von nuklearen Waffen
- Italy: Rapporto della Campagna internazionale contro le armi nucleari (ICAN) svela i finanziamenti globali ai produttori di armi nucleari
- Middle East: A Report Accusing Banks of Investing in Nuclear Arms Production
- Netherlands: Nederlandse financiële instellingen investeren in kernwapenproducenten
- Spain: El Banco Santander y el BBVA financian a fabricantes de armas nucleares
- Sweden: Svenska banker investerar i kärnvapen
- Los Angeles Times (US): Hundreds of Banks Help Finance Nuclear Weapons, Report Says
- Inter Press Service (UN): Abolitionists Target Funds Behind Nuclear Arms Industry
- InDepth News (Germany): ICAN Discloses Funders and Makers of 20,000 Nuclear Weapons
- Economic Times (India): Over 300 Financial Institutions Funding Nuclear Firms: NGO
- Kyodo News (Japan): Over 300 Financial Firms Provide Credit to Nuclear Arms Firms: NGO
- The News (Pakistan): Nuke-Armed Nations Carry 20,000 Nuclear Weapons: Report
- Catholic Online (US): Activists Targeting Businesses that Fund Nuclear Weapons
- NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands): Iran, de bom en debelegger
- Kurier (Austria): Atomwaffengeschäft: Wie Banken Mitverdienen
- Tageszeitung (Germany): Lukrative, aber tödliche Allianz
- De Wereld Morgen (Belgium): Belgische financiële instellingen investeren in kernwapens
- BR: Atomraketen im Portfolio
- Nikkei (Japan): 金融機関300社超、核兵器製造企業に資金 豪ＮＧＯ報告書
- Kyodo News (South Korea): 전세계 322개 금융기관, ‘핵관련 기업에 자금 제공’
- El País (Costa Rica): A las armas nucleares las cargan los bancos
- Tercera (Spain): Bancos de Europa y EE.UU., principales patrocinadores de armas nucleares
- Milenio (Spain): A las armas nucleares las cargan los bancos
- Excelsior (Mexico): Desinvertir para salvar al mundo
- Fria Tidningen (Sweden): Ny rapport: Svenska banker stödjer kärnvapenindustrin
- GP (Sweden): Svenska banker stöttar kärnvapenindustrin
- Grus & Guld (Sweden): Storbanker finansierar kärnvapentillverkare
- Move Your Money: Don’t Bank on the Bomb
- Nuclear Abolitionist: Don’t Bank on the Bomb: It’s a Bad Investment
- Sargasso: Nederlands geld voor kernwapens
- No Nukes: Nederlandse financiele instellingen investeren in kernwapenproducenten
- No Nukes: Three Dutch financial institutions invest significantly in nuclear weapons producers
- Rob Edwards: Revealed: RBS’s £3 billion investment in nuclear bombs
- IPPNW Peace and Health Blog: A new divestment campaign with old roots
- IPPNW Peace and Health Blog: Nuclear divestment: the medical case
- Voor de Wereld van Morgen: Nederlands geld naar kernwapenproducenten
- Ghassan Shahrour
- Toine van Bergen: Nederlands geld voor kernwapens
- Wapenfeiten: Hebben wij ook banden met de bom?