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26 UK investment funds pouring money into nuclear weapons companies: some have links to UK government.

It is unsurprising that the same financial institutions who continue to pour funding into companies like BAE Systems also have close links with senior Conservative party members and is yet another example of the cosy relationship between the arms industry and the UK government,”


The Ferret, November 28, 2021 
  Twenty-six financial firms in London have been accused of funding a “new nuclear arms race” including investment funds with links to the UK Government, The Ferret can reveal.

The Ferret found that 26 were based in London and six have links to the Conservative Party, which plans to increase Britain’s nuclear weapons arsenal.

They include Schroders UK which holds shares in the arms giant, BAE Systems. Schroders chair is Lord Geidt, who was an advisor to BAE Systems until April this year. He is now an advisor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose plan to produce more nuclear weapons has been condemned by peace organisations.  

Netherlands-based peace group, PAX, produced the study with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Their report warns that financial institutions continuing to invest in companies involved with the nuclear weapons industry could face “regulatory risks”  because of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which came into force in January 2021. 

The treaty – which the UK has not ratified – bans nuclear weapons and has been signed by 86 states so far.

The UK Government — which claims it is “committed to the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons” — said in March it would lift the cap on its nuclear arsenal by 40 per cent, from 180 to 260 warheads. In a statement in November the government claimed it had “played a leading role by pioneering work in nuclear disarmament”.

Perilous Profiteering says that Schroders UK had investments in 2020 worth $125.3 million (£93.97m) in BAE Systems which is building new Dreadnought submarines that will be armed with nuclear missiles. The company also provides logistics support for the US Trident and Minuteman missiles. BAE Systems stressed that it does not make nuclear warheads.

The report also names Royal London Group UK which had shares in 2020 worth $98.6m (£74m) in BAE Systems. In June the insurance company appointed Ruth Davidson, former leader of the Scottish Tories , as a non-executive director. Davidson is now a peer.

Others with links to the Tories include the Children’s Investment Fund Management (CIFF) which has shares in Safran, a French firm. Safran owns 50 per cent of ArianeGroup which has contracts for French nuclear weapon production. 

Emma Cockburn, Scotland co-ordinator for Campaign Against Arms Trade

             CIFF’s investment assets are managed by TCI Fund Management, where Rishi Sunak MP, chancellor of the exchequer, was a partner from 2006 to 2009.

Investment firm Janus Henderson, which has shares in General Dynamics, L3 Harris and Leidos, gave the Tories £3,500 in 2018, a payment which was registered in the House of Commons as required. General Dynamics, L3 Harris and Leidos all operate within the nuclear sector, says the new report.

According to the new report, the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in January 2021, is an “historic shift” in the way the world “deals with nuclear weapons”. It points out that while nuclear weapons are controlled by governments, their production is often contracted to private companies.              “They (nuclear weapons) are now comprehensively outlawed, as is any assistance with producing, manufacturing or developing them,” the report says. 

“Financial institutions that continue investing in companies building nuclear weapons face regulatory risks as more countries join the treaty. They also face an increased reputational risk as clients learn of their support for weapons of mass destruction and terminate their relationships.”

The report also reveals that 338 institutions have financing or investment relationships with the 25 nuclear weapon producing companies, down from 390 the previous year – a fall of 52, which the authors welcomed……….

Other critics of the nuclear weapons industry include Emma Cockburn, Scotland co-ordinator for Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT). She said the report provides a “damning insight to the endless billions available for the nuclear and arms manufacturers.”

“It is unsurprising that the same financial institutions who continue to pour funding into companies like BAE Systems also have close links with senior Conservative party members and is yet another example of the cosy relationship between the arms industry and the UK government,” she added………………………..  https://theferret.scot/revealed-27-london-companies-funding-nuclear/

November 29, 2021 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK, weapons and war

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