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RBS, Barclays and Natwest - Investors in Depleted Uranium

Campaign Against Depleted Uranium | 06.11.2007 13:30 | Anti-militarism | Iraq | Technology | World

The Campaign Against Depleted Uranium has launched a disinvestment campaign against RBS, Barclays and Natwest, all of whom invest in the manufacturers of depleted uranium weapons.

In collaboration with Network Flanders, Banktrack and ICBUW, CADU has launched 'Too Risky for Business' - a dossier detailing how high street banks are supporting companies that manufacture indiscriminate and illegal weapon systems.1

The launch follows the November 1st landslide vote at the UN First Committee in support of a resolution recognising health concerns over the use of depleted uranium weapons. The vote was passed by 122 to six and left the US, UK, France and Israel isolated from global opinion.2

Too Risky for Business shows that Barclays has significant shareholdings in both Alliant Tech Systems (ATK) and Gencorp. ATK is the largest ammunition manufacturer in the US and in addition to uranium weapons it also produces land mines, cluster bombs and parts for Trident nuclear missiles. Gencorp’s wholly owned subsidiary Aerojet Ordnance Tennessee Inc. also produce uranium weapons and again have interests in rocket propulsion, warheads and tactical weapon systems. This year Barclays owned shares amounting to 3.1% of ATK and 4.8% of Gencorp.

The Royal Bank of Scotland has repeatedly formed part of an international banking syndicate that has provided revolving credit facilities and loans to ATK worth in excess of $500m. In 2004 and 2005 it again formed a syndicate to provide revolving credit facilities to General Dynamics, in each case the facility was valued at $1bn. General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems manufactures a range of uranium weaponry for the US military. Many of its uranium products have been sold to contentious regimes such as Pakistan, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Actions against the banks named in the report will take place across the world and will continue until they disinvest. The Royal Bank of Scotland has already come under pressure in the UK this year for its stance on climate change and the oil industry.

The launch comes after a year of intense campaigning by ICBUW and its member organisations, and follows calls by the European Parliament for a ban on uranium in conventional weapon systems.3 In March this year, Belgium became the first country in the world to introduce a domestic ban on the use of uranium in all conventional weapon systems.4 The decision by Brussels to take this step sent a clear message to all users of uranium weapons that the continued use of chemically toxic and radioactive weapon systems is incompatible with international humanitarian legal standards.

CADU is asking customers to disinvest from both of these banks and move their business to a more ethical body, such as the Cooperative or Triodos. ICBUW also welcomes direct action against either RBS or Barclays. We have produced an activist tool kit that contains the report, model letters and press releases and logos. It is available to download from:


1. ICBUW to launch global disinvestments campaign:
2. The resolution entitled 'Effects of the use of armaments and ammunitions containing depleted uranium' (A/C.1/62/L.18/Rev.1) was passed by 122 votes to six (US, UK, France, Israel, Czech, Netherlands: at the UN First Committee in New York, with 35 abstentions. The resolution urges UN member states to re-examine the health hazards posed by the use of uranium weapons. Full text (select your language of choice):
3. European Parliament Makes Fourth Call for DU Ban:
4. Belgium bans depleted uranium weapons and armour:

The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons is a global coalition of 91 members in 25 countries. It campaigns for a ban on the use, transport, manufacture, sale and export of all conventional weapon systems containing uranium. It also seeks compensation for communities affected by the use of uranium weapons and the environmental remediation of such sites. For more information on the campaign, please visit:

Campaign Against Depleted Uranium
- e-mail:
- Homepage:


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