Banks in the UK 'contributing to cluster bomb industry'

16 August 2011

High street banks in the UK are investing significant sums of money in companies known to manufacture cluster bombs, it has been claimed.

Amnesty International and the Cluster Munition Coalition noted Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), HSBC and Barclays are among those to have provided funding to the organisations, despite a worldwide ban trying to halt the weapons being produced and traded.

Indeed, a new YouGov poll commissioned by Amnesty International has shown 78 per cent of people in Britain do not believe institutes should be permitted to offer loans to firms who manufacture cluster munitions.

In addition, 35 per cent of those questioned said associations with these companies are as damaging to the image of banks as their perceived bonus culture is.

Oliver Sprague, UK arms programme director at Amnesty - which has been in operation for more than 50 years - said these lenders are "making a mockery of UK law by shamefully investing in companies that make weapons the UK government and 108 other countries have clearly and quite rightly banned".

By Gary Cooper

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