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"Credit Agricole is the largest European investor in global arms companies involved in Yemen crisis."

Written by: Marc Bru
Company: Credit Agricole

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Feedback from the reviewing team:

"Marc does a thorough job at highlighting an issue we seem to see again and again, whether it's funding fossil fuels or on this occasion how European banks are the largest funders of the top nine global defence companies associated with conflict, this is a problem everyone should be aware of."


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"Credit Agricole is the largest European investor in global arms companies involved in Yemen crisis."

Arms traded by the top 25 companies totaled EUR300bn in 2019 - 8.5% more than in 20181. Yet irresponsible arms transfer and controversial exportation directly impact the life of civil populations in conflict regions2;p8. The Yemen humanitarian crisis is directly fueled by arms trade2;p8. It led to 233,000 deaths since 20154, 80% of the population in need of assistance, and the threat of a large-scale famine3.

Crédit Agricole (CA) is the first asset manager in Europe6 and the 3rd bank in Europe by assets (€1.884bn in 2020)9,10. The French group has 52M clients through 52 countries5;p42.

Despite CA’s restriction policies regarding the arms trade, it remains one of its biggest sponsors due to loopholes in regulations2;p52. Their restrictions don’t apply to all their financial products, are too permissive, and fail to address controversial exports7;p3. The Facing Finance report that studied the European funders in arms companies exposed CA as the largest investor (€3.2bn in bond or shareholdings) and the 3rd provider of finance for those companies (€3.4bn)2;p4.

In 2018, CA loaned an estimated €100M to a major British arms company (BAE)2;p7. BAE then exported massively to countries including the Saudi-led coalition members despite evidence of war crimes on the Yemenis2;p23. In 2018, CA financed Lockheed Martin with €1.2bn2;p4. Its missiles have since been involved in a school bus attack in Yemen8. Lockheed exported arms, but also planes and helicopters to many conflict countries and is involved in the production of controversial weapons systems2;p29-30. CA also invested €631M in Raytheon2;p33, a major weapon supplier for the saudis2;p33. Their actions in arms dealing led to further destabilizing a country already in crisis2;p8-9.


Credit Agricole must take stronger exclusion policies regarding the arms trade or take extra assurance the companies they are dealing with are not involved in controversial practices.



Sources



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