RBS policy u-turn on cluster bombs

Campaigners in the United Kingdom launched a media and e-petition disinvestment campaign led by Amnesty International UK during the month of August 2011. The campaign targeted the Royal Bank of Scotland and other UK banks on their investments in producers of cluster munitions. Amnesty International UK used information from the IKV Pax Christi/Netwerk Vlaanderen report Worldwide investments in cluster munitions: a shared responsibility for their action.

Only weeks after the launch of the campaign the Royal Bank of Scotland committed to issue a new policy on investments in cluster munitions. RBS stated that it will suspend further involvement with companies where it cannot be sure that they are not complying with the spirit and the letter of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the policy will be extended to all entities operating within a company’s group. Coming after over 12,000 emails from Amnesty supporters, a major spread in the Independent (see media section) and the threat of a hard-hitting national advertising campaign, this was a significant win for UK civil society on cluster munitions.

Campaigners in the UK plan to work with RBS to ensure that the policy is strictly implemented and to pressure the UK government to develop a code of conduct that will prevent any investments in cluster munitions in the future (including indirect financing).