In April 2020 PSC defeated the UK govt in Supreme Court overturning regulations
that prohibited Local Government Pensions Schemes (LGPSs) from taking ethical
decisions including removing investment from companies complicit in Israel’s
violation of International Law and Palestinian Human Rights.
Israel can only
maintain its grave breaches of International Law and Palestinian Human Rights
because of products, equipment and services it receives from a range of
companies and financial institutions
either supply the Israeli military, provide technology and equipment for
Israel’s infrastructure of illegal military occupation or are active in illegal
Israeli settlements based on Palestinian stolen land
Local Govt Pension
Schemes invest in 2 ways
- Directly by holding shares ways in specific
- Indirectly through investment funds which
holds shares on their behalf.
- Via the London Collective Investment Vehicle
So far, research by
PSC has found there are 49 LGPS funds in companies that aid Israel’s breaches
of international law
They are worth over £3.5
billion £ 3,582,374,282
London Local Government Pension Schemes
According to research
by PSC, so far Brent in comparison with other London Boroughs
has the 5th highest amount of investment in companies complicit
in the Arms trade.
Brent has investments
worth just over 8.5 million
So far with information
available the top six London boroughs are.
Brent Local Government Pension Scheme
Top 5 complicit investments
HSBC invests over £830million in, and provides financial services worth up
to £19billion for, companies arming Israel. These investments include up to
£100million worth of shares in the company Caterpillar, who supply the Israeli
army with bulldozers which are weaponised and used to demolish Palestinian
communities, build Israel’s illegal settlements and apartheid infrastructure
including the apartheid wall and military checkpoints. For more info: https://www.palestinecampaign.org/campaigns/stop-arming-israel/
Barclays is a British multinational bank and financial services company.
Barclays hold approximately £1,167.6 millions of investments in companies that
are known to supply the Israeli military. This includes Babcock, BAE and
Boeing, Cobham and Rolls Royce. More information available in War on Want’s
2017 ‘Deadly Investments’ report.
BAE Systems £970,233
According to CAAT, “BAE Systems is the world’s fourth largest arms producer.
Its portfolio includes fighter aircraft, warships, tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery,
missiles and small arms ammunition. It has military customers in over 100
countries. BAE has a workshare agreement with Lockheed Martin producing the US
F-35 stealth combat aircraft. Israel, for example, took delivery of its first
F-35 in 2016. According to Investigate, a project by the American Friends
Service Committee, BAE has worked in cooperation with Lockheed Martin and
Rafael to produce and market the naval Protector drone used to maintain the
siege of Gaza along the Mediterranean coast.
Smiths Group £316,811
According to CAAT “Smiths Group is a global technology company with five
divisions: John Crane, Smiths Medical, Smiths Detection, Smiths Interconnect
and Flex-Tek. Smiths Connectors is part of Smiths Interconnect and comprises
Hypertac, IDI and Sabritec brands. Products include connectors used in fighting
vehicles, unmanned vehicles and avionics systems.” They have applied for a
number of military export licences to Israel.
Rolls Royce £294,535
Rolls-Royce is a British manufacturer that produces military aircraft
engines, naval engines and cores for nuclear submarines. Despite arms
comprising only 26% of its total sales, it is still the world’s 17th largest
Arms trade. In 2014, the year of Israel’s arial bombardment and ground invasion
of Gaza, which killed over 2,200 civilians, nearly a quarter of them children,
Rolls-Royce was granted export licenses for engines for military aircrafts to
During the Covid restrictions opportunities for physical demonstrations, lobbies etc are restricted but we can meeting with other organisations on zoom and use social media to make the case.
We can also communicate with Brent Council's Pensions Sub-Committee over the issue and make alliances with trade unions with members on the Local Government Pensions Scheme.
FOR MEMBERS OF BRENT LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSION FUND
You can use the template below to write to the Chair of the Brent Pension Fund Sub-Committee.
LINK TO TEMPLATE LETTER
These are the Pension Fund Sub-committee members that you may wish to contact:
LONDON COLLECTIVE INVESTMENT VEHICLE
Most of Brent's investments are now managed by the London Collecive Investment Vehicle (CIV) along with other London boroughs. Therefore a ley part of the campaign is to link with other London PSC groups to exert pressure on the CIV. This is made up of professional investment managers so not directly democratically accountable so some of the pressure has to be on the policies of the CIV, particularly in terms of ethical policies.
The extract below shows where they are currently:
recognise that our clients have a fiduciary duty to act in the best long-term
interests of their members. To do so properly requires us to recognise that
environmental, social and governance issues can positively and negatively
impact on the Fund Solutions provided by the Pool which should be considered in
our investment strategies and decision-making processes.
should set out principles to which we aspire on subjects that all shareholders
can agree, for example:
•Rule of law
risk but also opportunity in holding companies that have weak governance of
financially material Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) issues. Thus,
the Pool has a policy of risk monitoring and engagement in order to positively
influence company behaviour and enhance stakeholder value, influence that would
be lost through a divestment approach. The Pool extends this principle of
‘engagement for positive change’ to the due diligence, appointment and
monitoring of external fund managers who are at an early stage of developing
their Responsible Investment (RI) approach.
indicated in the DCLG document, the Government’s intention is to issue guidance
to authorities to clarify that such considerations should not result in policies which
pursue municipal boycotts, divestments and sanctions, other than where formal
legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the Government.
Investment policies should not be used to give effect to municipal foreign or
munitions policies that run contrary to Government policy. This guidance has
since been challenged on legal grounds and is currently under review. The
London CIV policy will reflect the Government guidelines when this has been