Methodology & FAQs

Our report is the result of months of research into the policies, practices and investments of some of the biggest and most popular financial institutions operating in the United Kingdom today.

The project has identified the six major UK banks and the largest UK direct contribution pension providers for inclusion in the survey. 

But how did we come to the scores you see in the report?


A detailed set of measures were developed to support objective assessment – you can see them summarised below. The financial institutions were engaged through letters, emails and calls between November 2018 and August 2019.


The scoring on policy reflects the strength of the financial institution’s policies on the avoidance of exposure to investment in nuclear weapons. Policy statements or documents have been obtained both by accessing publicly available documents and through dialogue with company executives. The rating on policy takes account of:

  • Whether policies on nuclear weapons apply to ethical funds or project lending only or across the business
  • Whether policies apply to a narrow area such as warhead production or more broadly across involvement in weapons system
  • The degree to which the relevance of the UN Global Compact and UN PRI concerning Nuclear Weapons is explained


The scoring on practice seeks to determine the likelihood of exposure of a financial institution either now or in the future. The Pax Netherlands ‘Don’t Bank on the Bomb’ data on investments of UK financial institutions is a key source for measuring current exposure. The ratings on practice take account of:

  • Evidence of robust mechanisms within the financial institution for screening companies/potential clients with respect to their involvement in nuclear weapons
  • Third party data (particularly from the global Don’t Bank on the Bomb research initiative) of the financial institution’s involvement with the largest nuclear weapons producers
  • Information provided by the financial institution through correspondence with the project on the actual level of exposure to nuclear weapons producers either in ethical fund holdings or more generally across the business


The scoring on transparency seeks to reflect the quality and detail of a financial institution’s published information and its readiness to engage. 50% of the rating in this section is based on the publicly available information and 50% on the quality of the engagement of the financial institution with this project and other partners. The transparency rating takes account of:

  • The breadth of information available on the financial institution’s websites and in annual reports
  • The quality of the interaction of the financial institution with this project or other project partners
  • Commitments on the part of the financial institution to consult further with customers, clients and others

Got questions?

If your question isn’t here, get in touch with us.

Who are the groups involved?

The groups involved in this project are faith-based groups that have had a long history of advocating for nuclear disarmament and for human rights. Our groups have particularly campaigned in relation to corporate social responsibility and investment.

Those centrally involved in the project are Baptist Union of Great Britain, Church of Scotland, Christian CND, Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility, Methodist Church, Nipponzan Myohoji, Quakers in Britain, Pax Christi UK, Soka Gakkai International-UK and United Reformed Church. These groups are grateful for the support of other organisations that have offered publicity and assistance in various ways.

Aren’t nuclear weapons inevitable now?

No. We take the view that nuclear weapons do not provide the UK with protection against the complex range of threats that impact our world today. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons came about through the combined efforts of government’s and citizens. Its universal implementation will need citizens to raise their voices with governments and financial institutions. The clear trend is towards the implementation of well-established principles of International Humanitarian Law in this respect.

What can I do?

Write to your bank or pension provider and, if possible, send us a copy of your letter and their response. We’ve made it really easy to do this through our website – take action here.

Will you be updating this site with progress?

Yes. We’ll be updating this site periodically with any big wins, policy progress, major development, or new action. Keep up to date here.

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