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18 June, 2016

Banksters invest on internationally banned weapons

Bank of America, JP Morgan among 74 of 158 financial institutions that invest in companies producing internationally banned weapons

Despite the international ban on cluster bombs, more than 150 financial institutions have invested $28 billion in companies that produce them, according to a new report released Thursday.

Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo are among the 158 banks, pension funds, and other firms listed in the "Hall of Shame" compiled by the Netherlands-based organization PAX, a member of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC).

The report, titled Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions: A Shared Responsibility, finds that the leading investors come from 14 countries including the U.S., the UK, and Canada. Of the top 10 overall investors, the U.S. is home to eight. Japan and China round out the last two.

Both the UK and Canada—along with France, Germany, and Switzerland, whose institutions are also named on the list—have signed the 2008 Oslo treaty known as the Convention on Cluster Munitions banning the use of the indiscriminate bombs under international law.

The U.S., which hosts by far the most companies on the list with 74, is not a signatory.

Cluster bombs, which can be launched from the air or ground, operate by ejecting smaller sub-munitions or "bomblets" that can saturate an area of several football fields, according to CMC. They can remain volatile long after a conflict ends.

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