Belgium: Pax Christi Flanders part of coalition that releases report on Belgian banks and the nuclear weapons industry
from Pax Christi Vlaanderen
8/10/18 - A new report from the Belgian Coalition against Nuclear Weapons with FairFin and Bankwijzer.be gives a detailed picture of the investments of Belgian banks in the nuclear weapons industry. The report also makes some recommendations to the banks, to use a transparent policy and to make it public.
From the report "Do not invest in the bomb!" - research based on the international report "Do not Bank on the Bomb 2018" by PAX and ICAN - shows that BNP Paribas invests almost 9 billion dollars in nuclear weapons producers. This makes her the largest investor among banks active in Belgium. These investments concern the 20 largest nuclear weapons producers in the world. BNP Paribas also has a weak score for its policy on investments in nuclear weapons.
Deutsche Bank had invested just over 7 billion dollars in 17 nuclear weapons companies until recently. However, the bank has recently tightened its policy, although there are still loopholes open. ING has more than 900 million dollars from 7 nuclear weapons producers and a moderate policy.
It is very positive that KBC has sharply adjusted its exclusion policy since 1 July 2018 regarding nuclear weapons. A large part of the arms producers were also put on its public blacklist.
Asset managers Degroof Petercam, Delen Private Bank and Treetop Asset Management also invest. Moreover, they do not have a public policy. In the meantime, Private Bank would have sold its investment, as did Degroof Petercam in part.
Finally, financings were not found at Belfius, Argenta, vdk bank, Van Lanschot and Triodos. However, Belfius currently has a moderate policy, which involves risks.
The report recommends that banks adopt and publish a clear and unambiguous policy, as well as a list of excluded companies. The Belgian government is urged to extend the law prohibiting the financing of controversial weapons to nuclear weapons, and to assume its responsibility as a major shareholder of BNP Paribas and Belfius to encourage banks to adopt more ethical policies and investments.
The Belgian Coalition against Nuclear Weapons is a joint venture between various Flemish and French-speaking peace organizations. The core members are Pax Christi Flanders, Peace Association, CNAPD (Coordination National Action Plan for the Democratic Party), ABVV / FGTB, Activisme_be, Agir Pour La Paix, Doctors for Peace, Beweging.net/MOC, Climaxi, Greenpeace Belgium, Links Ecologisch Forum, Masereelfonds, Mouvement Chrétien Pour la Paix and VRAK.