Fewer financial institutions back the nuclear weapons industry since the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty


A new Don’t Bank on the Bomb report shows the number of financial institutions with significant investments in companies involved in producing nuclear weapons fell from 306 to 287 in 2023. Every year since the nuclear ban treaty went into force, the number of investors decreased.

The report “Untenable Investments” shows overall, the total amount made available to these 24 companies increased- primarily through an increase in loan financing and shareholding. The report shows 287 investors from 28 countries continue to seek profit from the production of nuclear weapons. 

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Companies building the bomb

​​The nine nuclear-armed states are all increasing their nuclear weapons capacities and investing heavily in their nuclear arsenals. The 24 companies identified in the report are the most significantly involved in these efforts. 

Most of these companies are also involved in the production of other weapons and defence materials, and several governments, particularly in Europe and North America, have actively encouraged increased capital flows to the sector, in order to supply Ukraine as well as their own militaries. 

Nuclear weapons stigma

The TPNW, also known as the nuclear ban treaty, has created a new international norm with a stigmatising effect on nuclear weapons, and the companies that produce them. More and more institutions which take Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations seriously are choosing to turn their backs on nuclear - and other controversial - weapons. The association with nuclear weapons production continues to tarnish these companies- keeping them out of the investable universe of major financial institutions.

Our research has revealed  41.5% more institutions adopting policies to restrict investment in companies involved in this sector since the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) came into force three years ago.


The 287 financial institutions listed in the report own at least 0.5% of outstanding shares or bonds, or provide loans or underwriting services in one or more of the 24 companies that contribute to the production of nuclear weapons listed in the report.

Of the 287 listed investors, only three are from countries whose governments have joined the TPNW. In at least one case, these investments, while attributed to the parent company in the report, were made from subsidiaries in jurisdictions outside the area currently covered by the nuclear ban treaty. 

The second meeting of TPNW states at the UN late last year heard a statement from 111 international financial institutions, representing over $1 trillion in investments, reiterating their commitment to nuclear disarmament that called on governments to cooperate with the financial sector to address this urgent global issue.

This demonstrates that there is a growing number of institutions that are not willing to compromise their values to profit from the modernisation of nuclear arsenals by the nuclear-armed states.

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Don’t Bank on the Bomb

Untenable investments is the latest in a series of Don’t Bank on the Bomb reports, a joint publication by ICAN and PAX, produced since 2012.