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2017 Individual nuclear divestment checklist

March 2, 2018
Revathi Kumar


You decided to divest, what now?

✓ Step 1: Check on your financial institution or investment

Is it listed in the Don’t Bank on the Bomb report?

    • Yes:

      In the Hall of Fame –> go to Step 4

      In the Runners up –> go to Step 2

      In the Hall of Shame –> go to Step 2

    • No: Check to see if they are a subsidiary of another financial institution.

      Yes, they are a subsidiary –>

      find out what their parent institution is and go back to step 1

      No, they are not a subsidiary –> go to Step 2

✓ Step 2: Make Contact

Find the right person to talk to: board of directors, operating managers, the sustainability department, investment managers, the communication department. Always reach as high as you can!

    • Hall of Fame
      • Tell them you are a client
      • Thank them for having a policy
      • Ask them to help you support the ICAN campaign by sharing information on the BanTreaty, co-signing a letter to the government, or other activity.
    • Runners – Up
      • Thank them for having a policy
      • Encourage them to fix the gaps in the policy (use Don’t Bank on the Bomb for the specific recommendation)
      • If they have also have investments, ask them to urgently divest.
    • Hall of Shame
      • Tell them you are a client
      • Ask them to urgently divest
      • Ask them to develop a policy to prevent future investments.

✓ Step 3: Escalate the engagement

Keep contacting the financial institution until they respond to your message, set up a policy and divest!

If they don’t respond at first:

    • Send your message again, but this time copy other departments (including communications or
      public relations)
    • Ask through social media- Facebook or Twitter
    • Give a local journalist a scoop- telling them the whole story from investment to (lack of) action
    • Publish an op-ed or letter to the editor in the newspaper
    • Organize demonstrations at their offices

When the financial institution responds to your letter in a positive way:

Suggest the following points for their nuclear weapons policy:

    • Exclude all nuclear weapon associated companies
    • Exclude all nuclear weapon associated activities
    • Apply to all the institution’s products and services
    • Actively divest from any current holdings in nuclear weapon producers

✓ Step 4: Communicate & Congratulate

One success is inspiration for another, and another and another. One defeat is an opportunity to learn
and improve and get creative in making new plans.

Don’t forget to:

    • Tell the team at Don’t Bank on the Bomb about your activities:
    • Thank the people you’ve worked with at the financial institution for their efforts
    • Publish some “good news” by asking local media to cover the success story
    • Celebrate the win globally through social media

Tips for letter writing

How to Begin:
Let the financial institution know who you are. Do you hold a bank account with them? Are you a member of their pension or investment plan? Do you own shares in their company”? Are you writing as a representative of a particular organization? Are you simply a concerned citizen?

What to Include:
Inform the financial institution that you are aware of their investments in nuclear weapons companies. Specify which companies and briefly describe the activities these companies are engaged in. Outline why you believe that financing nuclear weapons is illegitimate.

Ask for Information:
Inquire as to whether the financial institution has a policy on investing in the arms industry. If you are already aware that such a policy exists, ask the institution to explain how its investments in nuclear weapons companies can be justified under the terms of the policy.

Call for Action:
Call on the financial institution to divest from all nuclear weapons companies. Explain that nuclear weapons are illegitimate and have catastrophic humanitarian consequences.

How to End:
Make it clear that you expect a response, and share that response with other campaigners.

This content was first published at on March 2, 2018.

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