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Campaign of the Month: BBVA without Arms

Following the success of the campaign “My Money Clear Conscience” against banks investing in arms producers in Belgium, the Catalan organisation, member of the European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT), Centre De las d'Estudis per la Pau and other organisations have launched a new campaign against Spanish financial institutions and with a special focus on the financial corporation BBVA.

In their campaign manifesto they state: “The numbers of arms conflicts, the unjust wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, the violation of Human Rights under the excuses of the fight against international terrorism and the growing devastation of non renewable natural resources, made the following organisations decide to promote a campaign to create public awareness and denounce de financial institutions that invest in the military industries and seriously change the life of communities.” This campaign demands the authentic respect for human rights and the environment, by the banks entities and the BBVA Corporation in particular, under the title “BBVA without Arms”.

The campaign has been launched by Justicia i Pau ( Peace and Justice) that hosts the Centre De las d'Estudis per la Pau (Centre for Peace Studies) and El Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalizacion ( The Observatory of the Debt in Globalisation) a network of researchers coordinated from the Catedra UNESCO.

The aim of the campaign is to create public opinion that favours a change of attitude in the financial institutions and the BBVA Corporation in particular, and this way cancel their investments in the corporations that manufacture arms.

Why the BBVA

A common practice of all financial systems is social corporate irresponsibility. Far from taking a Social Corporate Responsibility policy it acts against the environment, and erodes the life of communities in other territories, and favours enterprises like arms production, conflicts and wars in diverse areas of the planet. The BBVA financial corporation is not an entity unconnected to these practises.

BBVA's Conduct:

  • Irresponsible through the participation in the military industries, as a shareholder in companies providers to the Defence Sector.
  • Irresponsible against the environment, financing projects that highly pollute, such as the pipeline for oil in Ecuador or the cellulose factory of ENCE in Uruguay.
  • Irresponsible against the countries of the South, through buying politicians or cleaning money from dubious origins.

Investment of BBVA in Arms:

Until April 2006, BBVA had investments in GAMESA Aeronautica, manufacture for EADS of the fuselage, plane wings for the A400M and helicopter blades. Indirectly through both IBV with a 25,78 % (a 50% of IBV is of BBVA) Iberdrola a 17% (a 6,01% also corresponds to BBVA)

Until 1998 BBVA through IBV had ta 2 % of Industrias y Turbopropulsores (ITP) participants of the creation of the Eurofighter.

The BBVA financed in 2006, exports of Italian arms for a value of more than 53 millions Euros. Malaysia and Israel were some of the destinations for these arms deals.

BBVA is one of the main financial entities exporting Italian arms. In the year 2002 it had the first place in the classification by volume of finances. And in 2006 has financed exports of arms to countries that don't follow the code of conduct of the European Union. And also in 2006 it financed the export of Italian arms for a value of more than 53, million Euros.

How to collaborate with the campaign?

  • Go to their website http://www.bbvasinarmas.org/ and sign their Report- Manifesto
  • If you are a client of BBVA print a letter of protest and deliver it by hand to the manager of your local branch
  • Download and promote the leaflet of the campaign