How banks, insurers and pension funds finance the business of war in Spain

  • A new report from the Centre d’Estudis per la Pau, published as part of the Armed Banking Campaign, identifies for the first time insurers and pension funds that invest in arms companies.
  • The ranking of "armed banks" in Spain continues to be led by BBVA, Santander, ING, Deutsche Bank, Banco Sabadell, Bankia and Caixabank.

According to a new report published by Centre d’Estudis per la Pau to analyse the way banks, pension funds and insurers are funding the arms industry, the total financing to the arms industry by financial institutions operating in Spain reached nearly 11,969 million between the years 2014 and 2019. The largest armed banks operating in Spain are again BBVA, Santander, ING, Deutsche Bank, Banco Sabadell, Bankia and Caixabank.

BBVA and Santander stand out, because their financing of the arms sector represents 62% of the total Spanish market.

The report highlights two arms companies with a well-known track record in the military sector for different reasons: Indra in terms of the development of technological products and services used on missiles and warplanes for border control and surveillance products; and Maxam, a major ammunition company with a clear business relationship with Saudi Arabia.

This information is confirmed by the new report published by the Centre Delàs d'Estudis per la Pau published within the framework of the Armed Banking campaign that not only analyses armed banks in Spain, but also investigates the financing of weapons by insurers and pension funds for the first time. The report can be found (in Spanish) here:

Insurers and armed pension funds

"After 14 years of research and actions on the financing of the armaments sector, we have considered it necessary to analyse the relations between the other major pillar of the financial system, the insurance and pension funds sector, and the arms industry. What investments are made with the large sums that we accumulate with our premiums or our contributions to a pension plan?" asks Eduardo Aragón, member of the Centre Delàs, integrated into the Armed Banking campaign and author of the report.

Among the insurers that operate in Spain and have financed the most arms production are Cardiff Assurance, AXA, BBVA Seguros, Santander Seguros, Allianz, MetLife, Intensa SanPaolo Life, AIG, Aegon, Liberty Seguros, March Vida, BanSabadell Seguros i Vida, VidaCaixa, and SegurCaixa Adeslas, Mapfre (through Bankia) and Línea Directa. The 26 "armed insurers" operating in Spain accumulate, directly or through the banks to which they belong, a total of 29.767 million euros in arms financing.

The report also identifies armed employment pension plans, which are led by market share by Caixabank, BBVA, Ibercaja, Fonditel, Santander, Bankia, Banco Sabadell, Abanca Vida y Pensiones, Liberbank, Mutua Madrileña, Axa Pensions. Jordi Calvo, coordinator of the Centre Delàs, member of the campaign and author of the report, stresses that "the result is strong. Not only do we finance arms companies through our current accounts, our term deposits of the sale of shares and bonds, but we are also helping decisively to the expansion of the arms sector with the contracting of personal insurance (of life, health, ...), of damages (vehicle, theft, fires, ...), or of provision of services (of assistance in travel, of funerals, ...) and through pension plans."

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