Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Banking on Bloodshed: UK high street banks’ complicity in the arms trade," International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, October 31, 2008.

[For the record, RBS and Lloyds are expected to participate in the UK bank bail-out. -jlt]

War on Want has just released a new report on the financing of uranium weapon and cluster bomb manufacturers by UK banks. It adds to the data released by ICBUW last year that found that RBS and Barclays invested in DU. You can now add HSBC and Lloyds to that list.

The arms trade provides the destructive hardware used in conflicts across the world. It undermines development, contributing to the poverty and suffering of millions. A new report by War on Want, Banking on Bloodshed: UK high street banks’ complicity in the arms trade has exposed, for the first time, the extent to which the five main British high street banks are funding this violent trade.

High street banks are using our money to fund companies that sell arms used against civilians in wars across the world, including the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are financing an industry that sells arms to countries committing human rights abuses such as Israel, Colombia and Saudi Arabia. Money from our savings and current accounts is being used to fund companies that produce pernicious weapons like depleted uranium and cluster bombs.

As a result of the financial crisis there are now unprecedented calls for regulation of the banking sector. War on Want is calling on the government to ensure that all banks are made to publish the full details of their loans, holdings and other banking services to the arms trade. The government must also introduce regulation which prevents high street banks from supporting the arms trade.

Read the whole report, a digest, or support for independent action here =>
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