Today, PAX and ICAN have co-published a report showing how banks and pension funds are financing the companies involved in the production of nuclear weapons: Shorting our security- Financing the companies that make nuclear weapons. This is what you need to know:
1- The private sector is investing $748 billion in nuclear weapon producers.
Overall the report shows 325 financial institutions from 28 countries invested in the top 18 companies involved in producing nuclear weapons.
2- Just 10 companies are responsible for more than 50% of those investments.
3 -The private sector is also looking to gain from the new nuclear arms race,
In addition to the growth in government contracts for the companies involved in producing, maintaining and updating nuclear weapons, investments by the private sector in these companies have also been going up since Trump took office.
4- Nuclear weapons pose a reputational and financial risk to investors.
In the last year, almost 100 financial institutions divested from nuclear weapon producers. Financial institutions like ABP, KBC and Swedish pension funds no longer appear on the full investor lists. Reasons for the change included the expected entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear weapons (which will make all activities related to nuclear weapons – including investment – illegal) and the vocal opposition from clients and shareholders to these risky investments. Not only that, but there is a growing movement that puts attention into where money is invested. It is estimated that about 25% of all wealth on the planet today is invested in a socially responsible way
5- It’s time to take action: Call your bank.
Everyone can do something about the nuclear weapon threat. We made the Don’t Bank on the Bomb report to show investors that companies involved in producing nuclear weapons are risky business, but these institutions are most receptive when the message comes from those they are accountable to. The growing number of divestments shows that clients are succeeding in their demands for more sustainable and responsible investments.
“Every time someone asks their bank or pension fund about nuclear weapon producers, the riskier it gets to keep those types of investment on the books,” says Maaike Beenes, PAX researcher for Don’t Bank on the Bomb. “Smart investors want a low risk and a high return, and the more people that make it clear they don’t want their money anywhere near nuclear weapon companies, the faster those companies will be excluded.”
So will you make sure your bank, insurer and pension funds know that you don’t want your money being used to invest in nuclear weapons? Check if they’re on the list. If they are, it’s time to give Customer Service a call.