98% of cluster bombs victims are civilian. 33% are children. Yet the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is majority-owned by the UK government, recently agreed a £49 million loan to US companies that produce cluster munitions or their components.
Meet six year old Abbas Yusef Shibli after a cluster bomb exploded in his hand, rupturing his colon and gall bladder and perforating his lung
This is not a new issue, we have known about it for years. If you bank with NatWest, leave. They have had their chance. When you leave, ensure you tell them why you are leaving. It is totally unacceptable for any company to still be funding this trade.
Last August an international treaty banning the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions entered into force. The Convention on Cluster Munitions (2008) has the support of 109 countries, including the UK.
Leave NatWest, and take action. If you do not act, you are tactically funding a weapon whose victims are 98% civilian. Your money is being spent by a bank in a way you would never dream of spending it yourself.
A report by Pax Christi reported that 15 financial institutions within the UK funded cluster bombs to the tune of 800 million pounds through either investment or loans. These included HSBC, Royal bank or Scotland and Barclays. Cluster bombs have been illegal to trade since October 2008. Yet, major financial institutions across the EU still provide funding to producers of these horrific weapons.
If you go and ask your bank they will categorically deny that they fund the trade of cluster weapons. You must push them to end all financial support to the producers of cluster bombs, not just the Trade in these weapons. If they fob you off, threaten to leave and withdraw all of your savings from their bank. There are plenty of banks that do not fund cluster bombs (see Triodos or Coop).
Have you ever wondered why banks offer students and young people such amazing offers on their accounts? It is because people like me; take 8 years to get around to leaving that bank. Brand loyalty! It is up to us, as free thinking individuals to stand up and state that it is not acceptable for banks to use our money in such a despicable way.