We publish here the report from the Don’t Bank on the Bomb campaign on Deutsche Bank’s announcement to tighten up their policy on investments in “controversial weapons”:
Deutsche Bank announced today it has expanded its exclusion of controversial weapons companies. The new policy excludes companies with “clear, direct links” to controversial weapons businesses, including those involved in nuclear weapons. The bank acknowledges that “Controversial Weapons cause undue suffering and have a disproportionate humanitarian impact on civilian populations.”
This means Deutsche Bank will not invest in companies involved in the manufacture, distribution or maintenance and service of (key components of) nuclear weapons. It will also terminate existing relations with these companies. Don’t Bank on the Bomb welcomes the improved policy and looks forward to cooperating in the future.
However, the policy makes some exceptions and does not fully prohibit all investments in nuclear weapon producers. For example, investments may still be made in parts of a company that are not directly related to the nuclear weapon business if the company states it will not use the funds for the production of nuclear weapons. Don’t Bank on the Bomb calls on financial institutions to exclude all nuclear weapon producers fully, as they cannot prevent their funds from freeing up assets for the production of nuclear weapons.
The decision to expand the policy was made after engagement with Deutsche Bank by ICAN campaigners in Germany. Martin Hinrichs of ICAN Germany said, “Any use of nuclear weapons would cause unimaginable catastrophe and human suffering. That is why they have been prohibited under the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was adopted last year. We are very happy Deutsche Bank recognizes that it is not acceptable to invest in and profit from companies that are involved in the production of these weapons”. The campaigners will also adress the annual shareholders meeting of Deutsche Bank tomorrow (24 May). See the ICAN Germany website for more information.
Deutsche Bank is a large global bank from Germany. It offers a diverse range of products and services in investment banking, private and commercial banking, transaction banking, and asset and wealth management. Deutsche Bank enjoys a leading position in its home market, other parts of Europe, North America and key emerging markets.
Maaike Beenes is program officer humanitarian disarmament at Pax for Peace in the Netherlands. She works on divestment from producers of nuclear weapons and cluster munitions, and is co-author of the Don’t Bank on the Bomb report.