A number of financial institutions have responsed to the 2015 Don’t Bank on the Bomb report.
ABP posted a response in Dutch on their website:
- In their response, ABP indicates that there are different opinions among ABP’s members regarding nuclear weapons. However, research by EenVandaag, a national TV news show, has shown that a large majority of ABP’s members actually opposes investments in nuclear weapon producers.
- ABP further states that it only invests in nuclear weapon producing companies involved in the arsenals of countries that are allowed to have nuclear weapons under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. However, this treaty also obliges these countries to negotiate the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals. At the moment, all these countries are modernizing their arsenals. Through its investments, ABP participates in these modernizations, which violate the spirit if not the letter of the NPT.
- Finally, ABP states that it does not invest in the producers of cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, biological and chemical weapons, because these are weapons of mass destruction that are likely to target innocent civilians. However, nuclear weapons also fall clearly within that description, with their capacity to kills millions of civilians.
PAX received an email from Ackermans & Van Haaren in which the company accounces that it has last week decided to divest from the remaining nuclear weapon producers in its portfolio. We applaud this move, and look forward to reassessing Ackermans & Van Haaren’s policy and investments next year!
You can go to the report’s entry on Ackermans & Van Haaren here.
ING has posted a reponse to the report in Dutch on its website.
In the response, ING claims not to finance nuclear weapons. However, even though ING does indeed restrict investments in companies producing nuclear weapons, it’s policy has some significant loopholes. Therefore, ING still invests in companies involved in the production of nuclear weapons as defined in our report.
For example, ING only excludes specific projects from financing, and not entire companies. This allows that company to shift funds around internally. So even if ING does not directly finance nuclear weapon related projects, its financing does allow companies involved in those projects to make funds available for their nuclear projects.
Svenska Handelsbanken has notified PAX that the investement listed in the report launched on November 12 – a loan to General Dynamics – is inaccurate. We thank Svenska Handelsbanken for notifying us of this apparent mistake in the report. The finding was based on the Thomson One (Reuters) international financial database. We have rectified the report. As this was the only investment found for Handelsbanken in nuclear weapon producing companies, the rectification means that Handelsbanken is no longer in our Hall of Shame. We look forward to reassessing Svenska Handelsbanken’s policies, and hope we can welcome Handelsbanken in the Runners-Up or even Hall of Fame of next year’s report.
The Hall of Shame entry for Handelsbanken has been rectified in the report, also see our previous post here.