Britain’s third largest bank, Lloyds Banking Group plc, was formed by the merger of Halifax Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB in 2009. Its operational headquarters are in London but it has registered headquarters in Edinburgh, and most of Bank of Scotland’s customers are based in Scotland.
The 2018 DBOTB report found that Lloyds Banking Group made approximately £1.9 billion available to 11 of the world’s top 20 nuclear weapons producers between 2014 and 2017:
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Lloyds Banking Group provided financing to these companies in the form of loans and through the underwriting of bond issuances (click here for details).
The group has a policy covering its lending activities which states that “we undertake robust due diligence on all customers who may be involved in the following activities … the manufacture, trading, storage or servicing of Nuclear weapons or Depleted Uranium ammunition (or components)”. This policy applies to Lloyd’s subsidiaries, including Bank of Scotland. DBOTB Scotland network asked Lloyds Banking Group whether Bank of Scotland provides financing to any of the top 20 nuclear weapons producers but the bank’s Reponsible Business and Inclusion unit declined to provide this, citing customer confidentiality.
Lloyds Banking Group’s policy also states that companies involved in producing weapons which are prohibited by international convention “will be prohibited from doing business with us”. We asked the group’s Responsible Business and Inclusion Unit whether it agrees that this should apply to nuclear weapons producers, since nuclear weapons are now banned by international convention, and whether the group would therefore commit to ending its involvement with nuclear weapons producers. We also asked whether the group has a policy covering activities other than lending. We have not yet received a response.
We encourage you to email Lloyds Banking Group’s CEO, Antonio Horte-Osorio, to request that the group stop financing nuclear weapons producers and adopt a comprehensive policy prohibiting involvement with them: firstname.lastname@example.org. See section 8.2 for guidance on how to engage with banks and click here for our template letter.