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RBS funds nuclear arms production

Royal Bank of Scotland finances 16 companies that are heavily involved in the manufacture, modernisation and maintenance of US, British and French nuclear forces.

These are the findings of a new report, Don’t Bank on the Bomb, the first to survey global investments in nuclear weapons producers. More than 300 financial institutions, including RBS, fund companies that build nuclear warheads or the missiles, bombers and submarines used to deliver them.

Co-author Tim Wright, from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which conducted the research, said: ‘RBS is in effect facilitating the build-up of global nuclear forces. This is undermining efforts to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, and heightening the risk that one day these ultimate instruments of terror will be used again.”

Nuclear-armed nations spend in excess of US$100 billion each year maintaining and modernising their nuclear forces. RBS invests in many of the companies that carry out this work, through loans, shares or bonds.

RBS has provided loans to, or participated in bond issues to, 15 nuclear weapons producers including Babcock International, BAE Systems, Boeing, EADS and Rolls-Royce.

It is also a minor shareholder in the Redhall Group, which operates at the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Speaking for Scotland’s for Peace, I can say that we are outraged to learn that RBS is financing the nuclear weapons industry in such a major way.

RBS customers must speak up and demand that their money isn’t used to fund the build-up and modernisation of nuclear arms. If the bank chooses to ignore the public, customers should seek ethical alternatives.