Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is a Canadian bank that provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services around the globe. The bank serves more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients in 41 countries.[i]

RBC does not provide financial services to companies involved in the development, production and trade of nuclear weapons and delivery systems that are specifically designed for these weapons.[ii] Companies involved in maintenance and modernisation are not excluded.[iii]

The policy applies to corporate credit granting and project finance.[iv] RBC also terminates existing loan contracts with nuclear weapon producers on a case-by-case basis.

RBC is currently reviewing its weapons policy and considering expanding the scope to its investment banking and asset management activities. RBC will also consider extending its policy to exclude companies involved in the maintenance of weapons of mass destruction.[v]

RBC uses an exclusion list for certain countries, which is based on the findings of data provider Sustainalytics.[vi] but the potential exclusion of companies is discussed on a case-by-case basis.[vii]

We commend RBC for adopting a public policy on nuclear weapons. We recommend RBC apply its policy to all financial products including investment banking and asset management activities. Moreover, RBC should apply the policy to all nuclear weapons producing companies, including those  involved in maintenance and modernisation. We look forward to assessing RBC’s update of its nuclear weapons policy and to engaging with RBC, so a strong and comprehensively applied policy may be listed in the Hall of Fame in a future update of this report.

 

 

RBC's policy on nuclear weapons is leaky. Tell them to fix it!

Congratulations Royal Bank of Scotland!

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Congratulations Royal Bank of Canada. 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 RBC 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 RBC made the following changes to make the policy airtight:
• Apply the policy to all financial products including investment banking and asset management activities;
• Apply the policy to all nuclear weapons producing companies, including those involved in maintenance and modernisation.

With kind regards,

Or :

Tweet: Even @RBC knows investing in #nuclear weapons should be restricted. Strengthen the policy & say #goodbyenukes! http://ctt.ec/1Cwyk+

 

Website: Twitter: Facebook:
www.rbc.com/ @RBC https://www.facebook.com/rbc

 

[i]           Royal Bank of Canada, “Corporate Profile”, website Royal Bank of Canada (http://www.rbc.com/aboutus/index.html), viewed 10 June 2015.

[ii]           Royal Bank of Canada, “Corporate Profile”, website Royal Bank of Canada (http://www.rbc.com/aboutus/index.html), viewed 10 June 2015.

[iii]          Royal Bank of Canada, written response to PAX dated 27 May 2015.

[iv]          Royal Bank of Canada, “2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Report and Public Accountability Statement”, 2012, p.59, available at http://www.rbc.com/community-sustainability/_assets-custom/pdf/RBC-CRR-Report-e-2012.pdf, viewed 10 June 2015; Royal Bank of Canada, written response to Profundo dated 27 May 2014.

[v]           Royal Bank of Canada, written response to Profundo dated 27 May 2014.

[vi]          Royal Bank of Canada, written response to PAX dated 27 May 2015.

[vii]          Royal Bank of Canada, written response to PAX dated 27 May 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.