Banks criticized over bombs

08:42, April 16, 2010      

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At least 146 financial institutions are providing funding and services for producers of cluster bombs, a report said Wednesday.

The support, estimated currently at a total of $43 billion to seven manufacturers, was continuing in violation of the spirit of an international convention aimed at total elimination of the controversial weapon.

Produced by the Netherlands-based Profundo consultancy and a grouping of non-governmental organizations, it urged governments in the 105 countries that have so far signed the 2008 pact to move to ban investment in the seven companies.

"It is time for all financial institutions to stop the flow of funds to companies that produce cluster bombs," Thomas Nash of the Cluster Munition Coalition told a Geneva news conference launching the report.

"Producers still have no problem in financing their activities, and many financial institutions seem to have no qualms about financing these producers," the report said.

Researchers for the study said their findings were based on publicly available information like that supplied by stock exchanges and financial databases.

The report, updating an earlier study issued in London last October, named Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank as major providers of services and loans to the seven. Others were HSBC, Calyon, the corporate and investment banking arm of French bank Credit Agricole, and British-based Barclays.

Among the seven companies were diversified manufacturer Textron, aerospace and defense group Alliant Techsystems, and defense contractor Lockheed Martin, all US-based.

Source: Global Times

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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