The research on financial transactions for this report was commissioned by PAX to the Dutch economic research consultancy Profundo. Profundo is an economic research consultancy analysing commodity chains, financial institutions and corporate social responsibility issues. For the 2015 report, all research was done between March and September.

Nuclear weapon producers

The nuclear weapon producers listed in this report are involved directly in the development, testing, production or maintenance of nuclear weapons related technology, parts, products or services. The company’s involvement is related to warheads, or to specifically designed nuclear capable delivery systems such as missiles. This includes ‘dual use’ (military and civilian) technology but excludes technology that is not specifically designed for, but can be adapted or configured for use in nuclear warfare. The list of nuclear weapon producers investigated was compiled through a wide variety of sources, including financial institution exclusion lists, civil society reports, media reports, etc. The list of  selected nuclear weapons companies in this report is not exhaustive.

State owned or controlled nuclear industries are outside the scope of this research, as are companies not publicly listed. Our research uncovered a number of Universities involved in nuclear weapons programmes, but these are also outside the scope of the report.

Financial Institutions

The financial institutions can be banks, pension funds, asset managers, insurance companies and others. Substantive involvement is formulated for this report as: providing corporate loans, project finance or working capital facilities; underwriting share or bond issuances; and (managing) investments in shares and bonds of the selected producing companies. For ‘substantive’ holdings of bonds and shares, a threshold was set of 0.5% of all outstanding holdings. As a result, all financial institutions with only bonds or share holdings below 0.5% involvement are excluded from this report. It is important to take note of the fact that this threshold excludes many institutions. And while it allows us to focus on the  substantively involved institutions, it also means that the aggregate holdings of all financial institutions world wide are much larger than what this report examines.

The Hall of Fame criteria are defined as follows:

  • The financial institution has published its policy and/or a summary of it in English;
  • The policy excludes investments in nuclear weapon companies (withdrawing past investments and avoiding future investments)
  • The policy has an ‘all-in’ comprehensive scope:
    • no exceptions for any types of nuclear weapon companies
    • no exceptions for any types of activities by nuclear weapon companies
    • no exceptions for any type of financing or investment by the financial institution

The Hall of Fame criteria are strictly applied. No financial institution in the Hall of Fame has any financial involvement in any of the nuclear weapons producers identified in this report.

Runners-Up have a policy in place that does not meet all of the above criteria. The Runners-Up category is quite broad. It includes financial institutions with weak policies, and institutions with very strong policies that meet almost, but not all, of the Hall of Fame criteria. Because financial institutions in the Runner-Up category have policies in place that are not fully comprehensive, they can appear both in the Runners-Up chapter for discussion of their policy and in the Hall of Shame chapter for their financial involvements in the producers.

All of the financial institutions in the Hall of Fame and Runners-up were contacted to fill in a confidential standardised questionnaire about their nuclear weapons investment policy. Clarifying questions were asked and responses allowed us make final decisions about placement in the Hall of Fame or Runners-Up.