VDK Spaarbank is a Belgian savings bank with a focus on sustainability.[i]
VDK Spaarbank excludes the entire armaments industry from its investment universe including all types of nuclear weapons producers.[ii] However, companies involved in a joint venture producing nuclear weapons or key components thereof are not covered by the exclusion policy.[iii]
At this moment, the exclusion policy applies to all types of investments and services offered by VDK. However, the policy does not apply to investments and services by external asset managers. VDK does not actively terminate existing contracts.[iv] Currently, VDK is working on a more comprehensive exclusion policy, which will be implemented next year.[v]
VDK follows the exclusion list of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global. The exclusion list is not available on the VDK website.[vi]
We commend VDK Spaarbank for adopting a public policy on nuclear weapons. We recommend VDK Spaarbank apply its policy to all financial products, including investments made by external asset managers. VDK should also exclude all nuclear weapons producing companies, including those involved in joint ventures. VDK should actively divest from existing contracts with nuclear weapons producing companies. We look forward to reviewing the new policy of VDK Spaarbankand engaging with VDK Spaarbank, so a strong and comprehensively applied policy may be listed in the Hall of Fame in a future update of this report.
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Congratulations VDK Spaarbank. 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 VDK Spaarbank 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 VDK Spaarbank made the following changes to make the policy airtight:
• Apply the policy to all financial products, including investments made by external asset managers.
• Exclude all nuclear weapons producing companies, including those involved in joint ventures.
• Actively divest from existing contracts with nuclear weapons producing companies.
With kind regards,
[i] VDK Spaarbank, “Visie, missie en beleid”, website VDK (https://www.vdk.be/over-vdk/visie-missie-en-beleid), viewed 17 June 2015.
[ii] VDK Spaarbank, “De policy van onze bank met betrekking tot financiering van controversiële activiteiten”, website VDK (https://www.vdk.be/over-vdk/duurzaam-bankieren/policy), viewed 17 June 2015.
[iii] VDK Spaarbank, written response to PAX dated 15 June 2015.
[iv] VDK Spaarbank, written response to PAX dated 15 June 2015.
[v] VDK Spaarbank, telephone conversation with PAX dated 15 June 2015.
[vi] VDK Spaarbank, written response to PAX dated 15 June 2015.