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UK Co-operative Bank ceases all investment in DU weapon manufacturers

Co-op becomes the first UK bank to cease investments in DU weapon manufacturers, classifying uranium weapons along with cluster bombs as indiscriminate.
12 February 2009 - ICBUW

The UK Cooperative Bank has long been a leader in ethical banking in the UK. Like ICBUW it is based in Manchester and we are happy to report that ICBUW’s account is held with the Co-op.

Coop Logo Last year saw the fifth review of its Ethical Policy, where it invites its customers to respond to a questionnaire on a variety of topical ethical issues. In all more than 80,000 of the bank’s customers responded to the consultation and the results overwhelmingly supported the bank taking a tougher line on many issues. The arms trade was a case in point – 99% of respondents supported the exclusion of firms that manufacture and sell indiscriminate weapons, such as cluster bombs and depleted uranium rounds.

New Policy on Indiscriminate Weapons
“We will not finance the manufacture or transfer of indiscriminate weapons, eg cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions.”

International Humanitarian Law prohibits indiscriminate attacks on civilians and places restrictions on the use of certain weapons and tactics (eg cluster bombs). 99% of customers who participated in the review supported the bank’s decision to withhold finance from businesses involved in the manufacture or transfer of indiscriminate weapons to any government.

Historically the Co-op has barred investments in arms companies that export weapons to oppressive regimes and those who manufacture and transfer torture equipment. ICBUW warmly welcomes this positive and timely step forward on indiscriminate weapons and hopes that other banks will follow suit.

CADU has recently produced a new and detailed flyer with information on the less ethical UK banks such as RBS, Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds Group using data from the reports 'Too Risky for Business' and 'Banking on Bloodshed'. Hard copies of the flyer are available from the office and a PDF is available below.