Tell your bank’s Customer Service: Don’t Bank on the Bomb

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If your bank, insurer or pension-fund is listed in the Don’t Bank on the Bomb Report, you can help increase the pressure on them to drop their investments in nuclear weapons by giving Customer Service a call, and letting them know that you, as a client or shareholder, are watching and expect better of them.  Here are some tips on what you might say:

Start by letting them know who you are, so that they know they are accountable to you: Do you hold a bank account with them? Are you a member of their pension or investment plan? Do you own shares in their company?

Then, let them know you are aware of their investments in nuclear weapons companies, and ask them uncomfortable questions about it. For example:

“I just learned through PAX’s Don’t Bank on the Bomb report that NAMEOFYOURBANK is investing AMOUNT in nuclear weapons producing companies like LIST3COMPANIES. This is unacceptable to me as nuclear weapons could cause catastrophic humanitarian harm.

Could you tell me more about how NAMEOFYOURBANK, as a responsible actor, justifies this investment?”

Chances are that they will try to wave you off by talking about their general policies on being responsible with their investments and how they have to make the money long-term, but always bring it back to nuclear weapons. Here are two things you can say:

“I understand, but what I would like to know is if you have a policy on investing in the arms industry, and if so, how this AMOUNT investment in companies producing nuclear weapons ties in with that? Surely it’s not acceptable by policy to profit off weapons designed to mass murder millions of civilians”

“I understand, but how is investing in weapons of mass destruction a safe investment product? And I’m not just talking about the deadly danger they pose, but about that fact that, under the new UN Treaty that bans nuclear weapons, these investments will soon be completely illegal! Surely that’s a major financial and reputational risk?”

 Finally close it off by telling them what you expect: change and a written response.

“ I would really like to hear back from you – by post or email – about how these can be justified under your existing policies. I am very disappointed that NAMEOFYOURBANK has these investments, and as a CUSTOMER/SHAREHOLDER, I would like to see your policies updated, and NAMEOFYOURBANK divest from nuclear weapons altogether.”

And remember, being confident in what you have to say, but always remaining friendly and calm will take your message a long way!

Annie Spratt