UK - Local authorities have been accused of being "brainwashed" about investing their pension funds in the arms trade.
The Campaign Against Arms Trade said that while no councils have excluded arms companies completely from their main fund, some progress had been made.
CAAT campaign co-ordinator Liz Morton said a number of local authorities had small ethically managed funds with Avon Pension Fund, the London Borough of Croydon and the Royal Borough of Kingston on Thames all having 2% of their main fund managed to exclude arms companies.
Morton hopes that success on a small scale will lead to other local authorities following suit with their main pension funds.
“Unfortunately councillors seem to be brainwashed into thinking they have no choice and are, understandably, very anxious about not making mistakes.” she said.
The National Association of Pension Funds rejected suggestions that local authorities had been “brainwashed” and claimed councillors “were in possession of all the facts” when making their investments.
And the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum’s general secretary, and West Yorkshire Pension Fund head of pensions and investment, Stuart Imeson added: “If you screen out arms, tobacco and drinks firms, or anything which can damage your health, you would limit yourself to half the companies on the stock market, which would become risky.”
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