Rabobank Group, based in The Netherlands, is one of the world’s leading financial institutions. It offers services in the field of banking, asset management, leasing, insurance and real estate.[i] In June 2016, Rabobank held over EUR 685 billion in assets.[ii]
According to its Armaments Industry Policy, Rabobank does not provide financial services to companies involved in controversial armaments, nor does it invest its own funds in any activity related to these weapons. The financial group considers nuclear weapons to be controversial weapons.[iii] Involvement includes the development, manufacture, maintenance, distribution, and selling of nuclear weapons or key components thereof, and of delivery systems that are specifically designed for nuclear weapons.[iv]
The exclusion policy applies to Rabobank’s commercial banking, investment banking, and all asset management activities, including passively managed funds distributed by Rabobank.[v] The policy is also applicable to Rabobank’s direct investments.[vi] For its investments in passively managed funds, Rabobank has introduced a range of eight responsible equity trackers from two external fund providers. These trackers explicitly exclude controversial weapons producers. These trackers do not make use of the exception that producers might represent less than 5% of the index. The trackers are actively used to replace conventional trackers as the core part of model portfolios and discretionary mandates. This means that Rabobank has further implemented its armaments industry policy into its investment offerings. As of early 2016, not all index trackers have been replaced.[vii] Rabobank is in dialogue with external asset managers who do not yet exclude nuclear weapons.[viii]
Rabobank’s exclusion list, which is based on external research, is not publicly available.[ix]
We commend Rabobank for adopting a public policy on nuclear weapons. We welcome Rabobank’s progress in applying the exclusion policy to external fund managers. We recommend Rabobank extend its policy to fully exclude all passively managed funds that contain nuclear weapon producers and to cover all external asset managers. We look forward to engaging with Rabobank, so a strong and comprehensively applied policy may be listed in the Hall of Fame in a future update of this report.
Rabobank’s policy on nuclear weapons is leaky; send them a message and tell them to fix it!
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Congratulations Rabobank. 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 Rabobank 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 Rabobank made the following change to make the policy airtight:
• Apply the policy to all financial products, including all passively managed funds.
With kind regards,
[i] Rabobank, “Profile”, website Rabobank Group (https://www.rabobank.com/en/products-services/index.html), viewed 30 October 2016.
[ii] Rabobank, “Key Figures Interim Report 2016”, page 1, available at https://www.rabobank.com/en/images/interim-results-2016-keyfigures-rabobank-group.pdf, viewed 30 October 2016.
[iii] Rabobank, “Sustainability Policy Framework”, November 2015, p.54, available at https://www.rabobank.com/en/images/sustainability-policy-framework.pdf, viewed 30 October 2016.
[iv] Rabobank, written response to Profundo dated 26 May 2014.
[v] Rabobank, “Sustainability Policy Framework”, November 2015, p.54, available at https://www.rabobank.com/en/images/sustainability-policy-framework.pdf, viewed 30 October 2016; Rabobank Group, written response to Profundo dated 26 May 2014.
[vi] Rabobank, “Sustainability Policy Framework”, November 2015, p.54, available at https://www.rabobank.com/en/images/sustainability-policy-framework.pdf, viewed 30 October 2016.
[vii] Rabobank, written response to Profundo dated 23 November 2015; Rabobank, written response to Profundo dated 17 February 2016.
[viii] Rabobank, written response to Profundo dated 26 May 2014.
[ix] Rabobank, written response to Profundo dated 26 May 2014.