Today 27th of November we celebrate the Stop Explosive Investments day of action. This year it concurs with the global launch of the 2014 update on the annual report on “Global funding on cluster bombs: a shared responsibility” elaborated by the PAX Foundation.
Financial institutions who invest on stocks or bonds from companies who produce cluster bombs have their place in the “Hall of Shame” list. According to the report from PAX, more than 150 financial institutions have invested 27.000 dollars in this type of companies between the years of 2011 and 2014.
Moreover, the report also specifies that most of these investments come from financial institutions from countries where the Convention on Cluster Bombs of 2008 has not yet been adopted, but there are also on this list some banks from countries that have already signed the Convention, Spain being one of them.
Although 76 financial institutions have adopted policies on cluster bombs, the recent use of these bombs in conflicts such as the ones occurring in Syria and Ukraine confirm the need to eradicate this weapon.
In the 2014 report from PAX, a Spanish bank has been added to the list: “Banc Sabadell”. More specifically, in November 2013 Banc Sabadell, along with forty other financial institutions, gave a 5 year time 1.960 million dollar credit to ATK (Alliant Techsystems). Banc Sabadell participated in this operation with 15 million dollars.
According to the report, there is no Spanish financial institution with a clear policy in regard to the prohibition on the investment in cluster bombs production.
In regard to the Spanish institutions with no-investment policies who nevertheless lack some clarity in their purposes we find BBVA.
This bank has published its no-investment policy on companies who produce cluster bombs. However, this exclusion policy does not apply to the investments made by third parties.
BBVA clients may ask to their bank to invest the actives in companies that do not follow the no-investment policy; this is already happening in the case of the ETFs, funds who follow an index, pension fund and pension portfolios. Furthermore, the exclusion policy does not apply either to discretionary mandates or passive funds managed by external asset managers. In addition, the exclusion list made by BBVA has not been published either.
Consequently, in order for BBVA to become a member, instead of a candidate, of the Hall of Fame list, this is, to be a financial entity with a clear no-investment on cluster bombs production policy; BBVA should extend their exclusion policy to the discretionary mandates and passive assets (like ETFs) whether they are managed internally or not.
If you are willing to join this initiative you can do so by:
1.Taking a photo of yourself holding the sign “Stop Explosive Investments – are you funding cluster bombs?” and share it on the social networks.
2. You can also record a 7 seconds long video where you appear holding the same sign and asking “Are you funding cluster bombs?”.