Chronicle of the Participation of Shareholders of Caixabank

The banking armada campaign along with the NO ARMAS campaign participated in the general shareholders meeting of Caixabank which was held in Barcelona on Thursday April 23rd, 2015. The delegation of more than 14,000 shares has given voice to the those responsible and shareholders with the aim of denouncing Caixabank investments in controversial weapons and other nefarious businesses.

In the speech Chloe Meulewaeter denounced Caixabank as one of the first funders of the arms industry in Spain demonstrating  a serious inconsistency with the Social Work of La Caixa and with the regulations on the financing of the arms industry made public in its integrated corporate report 2013  which states that “CaixaBank, according to its Code of Ethical Values and Principles and its corporate values, not participate in financing operations or export of military equipment for military use. The entity also excludes any sort of business relationship related to the production or marketing of companies producing landmines and cluster bombs.

However the bank has holdings in 13 companies that produce military combat systems and weapons, electronics and military communications, as well as military and aerospace components for engineering warplanes. Also, Caixabank has granted loans that are completely unacceptable from an ethical point of view through La Caixa or Banca Cívica to some of the most important arms companies Spain. This is true in the cases of Indra, Maxam, and Instalaza.

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In his reponse, the President of the bank denied that Caixabank finances any arms companies, referring to the policy of financing the arms industry which he stated “we do not dedicate ourselves to manufacture weapons or export weapons”. After, he continued to emphasize the social commitment of his company through its company Obra Social La Caixa and invited Chloe Muelewaeter to be a volunteer for La Caixa. This shows the profound inconsistency of Caixabank which on one side has a strong positive social impact, while on the other hand finances arms companies which implicates it in the Spanish Military-Industrial cycle. While this continues to happen, shareholder activism is still present with the aim of increading awareness about an issue that is not so unknown to civil society.