ABN Amro is a Dutch banking group that serves retail, private and commercial banking customers in The Netherlands and across the globe. The Dutch state acquired ownership of the Dutch activities of ABN Amro Holding N.V. and Fortis Bank Nederland in 2008. ABN Amro Business Unit Netherlands (BU NL) and Fortis Bank Nederland merged in 2010 to form the current ABN Amro.[i] In the first quarter of 2016, ABN Amro reported €415.1 billion in assets.[ii]
ABN Amro’s Defence Policy states that the banking group does not finance or invest in companies involved in the manufacture, maintenance and trade of nuclear weapons or delivery systems that are specifically designed for nuclear weapons[iii], but only if the company’s nuclear weapons related activities are in a country that is not a NATO member state and has not joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).[iv]
The exclusion policy applies to ABN Amro’s commercial banking, investment banking and asset management activities, except for its passively managed funds and third-party investments.[v] The exclusion policy “does not apply to assets managed by external parties for which ABN AMRO has developed a separate engagement strategy.”[vi]
ABN Amro maintains a controversial weapons list of companies excluded from their investment universe, which is based on the findings of data provider Sustainalytics.[vii] The list is not publicly available.[viii]
ABN Amro was also found to have several below the threshold investments in nuclear weapon producing companies identified by this report.
We commend ABN Amro for adopting a public policy on nuclear weapons. We recommend ABN Amro extend its policy to all companies, regardless of their country of origin. In addition, ABN Amro should apply its policy to cover all financial products the bank offers, including passively managed funds. Furthermore, ABN Amro should apply its policy to assets managed by external parties. We look forward to engaging with ABN Amro, 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 ABN Amro!
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 ABN Amro 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 ABN Amro made the following changes to make the policy airtight:
• Extend the policy to all companies, regardless of their country of origin;
• Apply the policy to cover all financial products the bank offers, including passively managed funds;
• Apply the policy to assets managed by external parties.
With kind regards,
[i] ABN Amro, “Our Company”, website ABN Amro (http://www.abnamro.com/en/about-abn-amro/our-company/index.html), viewed 30 September 2016 .
[ii] ABN Amro, “ABN AMRO Group Quarterly Report first quarter 2016”, p.14, available at https://www.abnamro.com/en/images/Documents/Investor_Relations/Financial_Disclosures/2016/ABN_AMRO_Quarterly_Report_2016_Q1.pdf , viewed 30 September 2016.
[iii] ABN Amro, “Defence Policy”, April 2013, p.2, available at https://www.abnamro.com/en/images/040_Sustainability/040_Risk_Management/Attachments/Defence_Policy_-_April_2013.pdf, viewed 30 September 2016; ABN Amro, written response to Profundo dated 27 May 2014.
[iv] ABN Amro, written response to PAX dated 8 May, 2015.
[v] ABN Amro, “Defence Policy”, April 2013, p.1-3, available at https://www.abnamro.com/en/images/040_Sustainability/040_Risk_Management/Attachments/Defence_Policy_-_April_2013.pdf , viewed 30 September 2016; ABN Amro, written response to Profundo dated 27 May 2014
[vi] ABN Amro, “Exclusion List”, April 2013, available at http://www.abnamro.com/en/images/040_Sustainability/040_Risk_Management/Attachments/Exclusion_list_April_2013.pdf, viewed 30 September 2016.
[vii] ABN Amro, “Sustainability Report 2013”, p.31, available at http://www.abnamro.com/en/images/040_Sustainabe_banking/Links_en_documenten/Documenten/Rapportage_-_Sustainability_Report_2013_(EN).pdf, viewed 14 September 2015.
[viii] ABN Amro, written response to Profundo dated 27 May 2014.