The Co-operative Bank

The Co-operative Bank is a British bank offering a range of banking products from mortgages and loans to credit cards and saving products. In 2013, The Co-operative Bank separated from The Co-operative Group. The Co-operative Group is now a 20% shareholder with the remainder of shares held by investors.[i] The Co-operative Bank’s focus is changing to retail and small and medium-sized business customers.[ii]

In 2014, The Co-operative Bank re-launched its ethical policy after consultations with its customers. The policy excluding nuclear weapons producers remained the same. The Ethical Policy states: “We will not finance […] the manufacture or transfer of indiscriminate weapons.”[iii] Indiscriminate weapons include cluster munitions, anti-personnel landmines, depleted uranium munitions, incendiary munitions, chemical and biological weapons.[iv] It also includes “products or services classed as strategic to nuclear weapons.” Companies found to be in conflict with the policy are excluded.[v]

The policy applies to all asset classes relevant to The Co-operative Bank.[vi] The Co-operative Bank terminates loan contracts of customers violating its ethical policy.[vii] The Co-operative uses an exclusion list based on research by EIRIS, which is not publicly available.

 

Congratulations Co-operative Bank!

Congratulations Co-operative Bank!

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I saw on www.dontbankonthebomb.com that you have a comprehensive policy prohibiting investments in nuclear weapons producing companies.

Financial institutions like yours are helping to build the stigma around these inhumane weapons, something that is urgently needed. Nuclear weapons are the only weapon of mass destruction that’s not explicitly outlawed through an international treaty- and thanks to your policy we can show how important and necessary it is that all of society act urgently to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons once and for all.

Thank you for your help in creating a nuclear weapons free world.

With kind regards,

 

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Tweet: Congratulations @CoopBankUK for having a policy limiting investment in #nuclear weapons and for saying #goodbyenukes! http://ctt.ec/61DM3+

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http://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/ @CoopBankUK https://www.facebook.com/thecooperativebank

 

[i]           The Co-operative Group, “About The Co-operative Bank”, website The Co-operative Group (http://www.co-operative.coop/corporate/aboutus/ourbusinesses/The-Co-operative-Bank/), viewed 29 May 2015.

[ii]           The Co-operative Bank, written response to PAX dated 28 May 2015; The Co-operative Bank, written response to Profundo dated 23 June 2014.

[iii]          The Co-operative Bank, “Ethical Policy”, website The Co-operative Bank (https://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/assets/html/bank/ebooks/ethical-policy/index.html), viewed 29 May.

[iv]          The Co-operative Bank, written response to Profundo dated 4 June 2014.

[v]           The Co-operative Bank, written response to Profundo dated 29 May 2015.

[vi]          The Co-operative Bank, written response to Profundo dated 23 June 2014.

[vii]          The Co-operative Bank, written response to Profundo dated 4 June 2014.

Hall of Fame Institutions

Financial institutions, by adopting public policies prohibiting investment in the nuclear weapons industry, actively demonstrate the stigma associated with these weapons of mass destruction. These financial institutions are preparing for the necessary advancement in international law which will universally prohibit nuclear weapons. In highlighting these financial institutions, we aim to show that institutions can and do decide to ban investments in the nuclear weapon industry, and that policies in the financial sector are an important contribution to the global debate on nuclear weapons.

Don’t Bank on the Bomb 2015 also profiles financial institutions that have adopted, implemented and published a policy that comprehensively prevents any financial involvement in nuclear weapon producing companies.

The 2104 Hall of Fame includes:

Folksam (Sweden)

Philips Pension Fund (the Netherlands)

PNO Media (the Netherlands)

SNS REAAL (the Netherlands)

 

Storebrand Group (Private, Norway)

Triodos Bank (Ethical bank, The Netherlands)

Criteria and Methodology

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.