The 2023 report “Moving Away from Mass Destruction: 109 exclusions of nuclear weapon producers” profiles financial institutions with policies that restrict or completely exclude investments in the companies involved in nuclear weapon production.
55 institutions comprehensively exclude any financial involvement with nuclear weapon producers. They are listed in the Hall of Fame. The financial institutions in the Hall of Fame are based in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Six of the institutions in the Hall of Fame are completely new to the Don’t Bank on the Bomb analysis: Change Finance (United States), Ethius Invest (Switzerland), Fisher Funds (New Zealand), NorthStar Asset Management (United States), SpareBank 1 SR-bank (Norway) and Svenska Handelsbanken (Sweden). Belgian bank VDK Bank substantially improved the scope of application of its weapons policy and was therefore moved from the Runners-Up category to the Hall of Fame.
Each institution’s policy profiled in the Hall of Fame undergoes a rigorous assessment. Only when policies are applied to all types of nuclear weapon producers from all locations excluding them from all the institutions’ financial products and services, may an institution qualify for the Hall of Fame. Moreover, an implementation check is carried out for these institutions, to make sure there are no outstanding investments in nuclear weapon producers.
The report also lists 54 institutions that still have room for improvement. They are listed in the Runners-Up section. While these institutions have taken steps to restrict investments in nuclear weapon producers, one or more loopholes still allow for exceptions. The Runners-Up category is broad, ranging from financial institutions with policies nearly eligible for the Hall of Fame to those with policies that still allow considerable sums of money to be invested in the nuclear weapon industry. However diverse these policies are, they all express a shared understanding that involvement in nuclear weapons production is controversial.
The number of financial institutions listed in this report has grown steadily over the last decade. The first publication in 2014 listed 35 institutions seeking to avoid investment in the nuclear weapon industry. In 2018, the number rose to 63, and further increased to 77 in 2019. Since the Treaty of Nuclear Weapons entered into force, the number of known policies has grown to over 100.
The growing numbers of financial institutions listed in this report provides a snapshot of the emerging norm within the financial sector to avoid companies contributing to existential risks. In addition to the increase in identified policies, the application of these policies is becoming more comprehensive, illustrating increased recognition within the financial sector of its role in not condoning the production of inhumane weapons.
27 July 2023