SBI’s hall of shame
State-run banking behemoth SBI has been named in a ‘Hall of Shame’ list of 158 banking and financial institutions globally that have invested billions of dollars in companies making cluster bombs. The list has the names of the financial institutions which have invested in companies that specializes in design and manufacture of cluster bombs. Dutch campaign group PAX in its report has compiled this data which shows how much all financial institutions together has invested in cluster weapons and has also named the financial institutions.
What is a cluster bomb?
A cluster bomb is a destructive ammunition that can be air dropped or launched from the ground, which on further impact ejects smaller submunitions. During the 50’s and 60’s, Cluster ammunitions were used in making chemical weapons and not surprisingly both the US and the Soviet had indeed made a huge stockpile of cluster weapons.
Who are the others?
JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Bank Of America are among the financial institutions which have invested over 28 billion dollars over 4 years, it is worthwhile to note that SBI is the only Indian entity on the list. The maximum number of 74 banks are from the US, followed by China (29) and South Korea (26). PAX said the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) categorically bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions.This convention was signed by 94 countries in 2008 and it came into force from August 1, 2010. And not surprisingly, most of the investments come from the countries which haven’t signed this agreement.
SBI has denied any irregularities and has conveyed all the rules have been complied with.
Other findings of the report
1. The list published in 2014 had 151 financial institutions. Of these, 112 financial institutions are still in the 2016 list and 34 have been removed, while 44 new ones have been included.
2. 158 financial institutions invested more than US$ 28 billion in the seven cluster munitions producers — China Aerospace Science and Industry (China), China Aerospace Science and Technology (China), Hanwha (South Korea), Norinco (China), Orbital ATK (US), Poongsan (South Korea) and Textron (US)
3. These financial institutions provided loans for at least US$ 6.3 billion, provided investment banking services worth at least US$ 9.1 billion and owned or managed shares and bonds worth at least US$ 13.0 billion.