VDK Spaarbank

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.

 

VDK Spaarbank has a leaky policy on nuclear weapons. Tell them to fix it!

Congratulations VDK Spaarbank!

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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,

Or :

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

 

Website: Twitter: Facebook:
https://www.vdk.be/ @VDKspaarbank https://www.facebook.com/VDKSpaarbank

 

[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.

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.