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FAO CEO of Barclays Matt Hammerstein
I am writing to you as a Barclays bank account holder ahead of your AGM on the 4th May.
I was shocked to learn that Barclays is heavily invested in companies that manufacture nuclear weapons. It does not make sense to me that you say you implement the UN Principles For Responsible Investment which has a policy “not to finance manufacture of nuclear weapons”, whilst you have more than $5000million invested in companies that do exactly that.
It has been five years since the drafting of the Treaty On The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which, since 22nd Jan 2021, has now entered into force. This treaty makes illegal under international law the assistance of any State in the maintenance or development of nuclear weapons. Your investment in nuclear weapons producing companies does exactly that. It is impossible to fund a company that is producing nuclear weapons without indirectly contributing to their production and so it is not enough for you to only avoid funding nuclear weapons projects directly.
Nuclear weapons are now illegal because of their potential for indiscriminate and massive scale destruction: one detonation has the potential to kill millions of people. They pose a substantial risk to people and the planet, including to those who are impacted by the development, manufacture and testing of nuclear weapons. This is to say nothing of the long-term health impacts of exposure to nuclear fallout. The potential consequences of nuclear weapons, either deliberately or in the or in the event of accidental detonation is unparalleled in the natural world or by any other weapons.
The TPNW is proof that global public opinion is changing and now widely accepts the unconscionable risk and weighty moral challenge that nuclear weapons pose. It is time for Barclays to make a stand and end the financing of these most devastating weapons.
I await your response