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Don’t bank on the bomb

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By ICAN | Washington, Mar 5 2012

A groundbreaking report released today by ICAN identifies more than 300 banks, pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers in 30 countries with substantial investments in nuclear arms producers. View the report at www.dontbankonthebomb.com.

The 180-page study, Don't Bank on the Bomb, provides details of financial transactions with 20 companies that are heavily involved in the manufacture, maintenance and modernization of US, British, French and Indian nuclear forces.

Divesting from Nuclear Weapons

We need your help to put pressure on financial institutions to stop investing in the nuclear arms industry. By financing nuclear weapons producers, banks and other institutions are in effect facilitating the build-up of nuclear forces. ICAN supporter and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu has called on financial institutions to "do the right thing and assist, rather than impede, efforts to eliminate the threat of radioactive incineration", noting that divestment was a vital part of the successful campaign to end apartheid in South Africa.

"Today, the same tactic can - and must - be employed to challenge man's most evil creation: the nuclear bomb. No one should be profiting from this terrible industry of death, which threatens us all," he wrote.

Who's Involved?

Nuclear-armed nations spend in excess of US$100 billion each year maintaining and modernizing their nuclear forces, with much of this work being carried out by corporations such as BAE Systems in the United Kingdom, Lockheed Martin in the United States, Thales in France and Larsen & Toubro in India.

Financial institutions invest in these companies by providing loans and purchasing shares and bonds. Of the 322 financial institutions identified in the report, roughly half are based in the United States and a third in Europe. Asian, Australian and Middle Eastern institutions are also listed.

Those most heavily involved in financing nuclear arms makers include Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase in the United States; BNP Paribas in France; Deutsche Bank in Germany; Mistubishi UJF Financial in Japan; Banco Santander in Spain; Credit Suisse and UBS in Switzerland; and Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland in Britain.

The Case for Divestment

The report emphasizes the humanitarian, legal and environmental arguments for divestment. Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, writes in the report: "Anyone with a bank account or pension fund has the power to choose to invest his or her money ethically - in a way that does not contribute to this earth-endangering enterprise."

In addition to stating the ethical case for divestment, the report also warns of the reputational risks associated with financing nuclear arms, and highlights the positive role that financial institutions could play in the quest for nuclear-weapon-free world.

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Bank of America
Bank of America is an American multinational banking and financial services corporation and is the second largest bank holding company in the United States by assets, and…
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFG
Bank of Tokyo - Mitsubishi UFJ is the largest bank in Japan. It was established on January 1, 2006, with the merger of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Ltd. and UFJ Bank Ltd.…
Barclays
Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management…
BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas is one of the main banks in Europe. It was created on 23 May 2000 through the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) and Paribas.…
Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse Group was founded in 1856 and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. It serves companies, institutional clients and high-net-worth private clients worldwide,…
Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank was founded in 1870 and is a leading global investment bank. It has operations throughout the world and has a strong presence in Germany and Europe. The bank´s…
HSBC
Headquartered in London, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world. HSBC operates from around 6,100 offices in 72 countries and…
JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase is one of the Big Four Banks of the United States (along with Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo). The firm was formed in…
Lloyds
Lloyds Banking Group Plc was formed on the 19th of January 2009 after Lloyds TSB acquired HBOS. The group is currently the largest retail bank in the United Kingdom with…
RBS
RBS was founded in 1727 and is one of the major UK banks. RBS has 40 million customers using the financial services of over 30 brands, including NatWest, Direct Line, Churchill,…
Santander
Banco Santandar S.A., founded in 1857 in Santander, Spain. The group has expanded since 2000 through a number of acquisitions, with operations across Europe, Latin America,…
UBS
Modern UBS was formed through a merger of the Union Bank of Switzerland and the Swiss Bank Corporation in June 1998.  UBS is headquartered in Zurich and Basel and it…
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