Scotland’s largest public pension scheme happy to hold funding in palms traders…but can’t say who they sell to

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A BID to stop one in every of the most important publicly run pension schemes inside the world based in Scotland from continuing funding in arms firms has failed.

The Glasgow city Council-administered Strathclyde Pension Fund has been criticised after it emerged  years ago it had investments worth £83 million in 11 of the 20 companies with the biggest international involvement in arms manufacture.

The fund which neighborhood authority employees across the previous Strathclyde area are members of is expected to have £189 million invested in various fingers companies.

Scotland’s biggest nearby authority pension scheme had stocks well worth £19.6 million, as of December 2014 within the pinnacle  arms-producing and military offerings corporations on my own, Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of Trident nuclear guns, and Boeing.

As of two years ago, the pension scheme had belongings of extra than £thirteen.nine billion, paid 70,000 pensioners and had a further a hundred thirty,000 individuals either paying into the fund or waiting to retire from 12 neighborhood government, along with Glasgow, plus over 200 different big and small employers.

SNP institution chief on Inverclyde council Chris McEleny made the call for a ban on fingers investments in a letter to Ian Gow the convener of the Strathclyde Pension Fund Committee.

He stated: “i’ve these days been contacted by way of ingredients who’ve raised concerns that the Strathclyde Pension Fund invests in international arms groups as part of its investment approach.

“i’m positive you may remember the fact that there are many people that do not consider that this sort of investment is within the spirit of the fund’s accountable investment strategy.

“As you’re conscious there was a exchange in political leadership across the location and i am hopeful that this may be pondered in future investments making sure that the scheme makes ethical investments that aid the broader fund.”

He hoped that the fund managers would make certain that fund growth is “now not on the back off earnings generated with the aid of arms sales, many of which may be utilized in conflicts around the sector.”

but Richard Keery, investment manager of the fund said it become “unable to support calls for divestment”.

He additionally stated it did not hold statistics “that might permit us to pick out which nations those groups [the fund invests in]promote fingers to”.

He stated the fund’s postion was that it receives ordinary calls from lobby agencies to divest from one region or every other – fossil fuels, tobacco and defence specifically.

The fund’s function changed into that disinvestment or screening out of character sectors has never been part of SPF strategy as this “restricts funding opportunity, tends to growth volatility and can impair investment returns”.

“Divestment primarily based on a subjective, ethical point of view isn’t always permissible and doubtlessly challenge to felony venture within the context of a fund that’s investing for the motive of paying pensions liabilities to its participants. The effectiveness of disinvestment is likewise questionable because it reduces investor capacity to have interaction and have an effect on,” says the SPF function.

Mr McEleny stated he was “disenchanted” that the scheme is “no longer listening” to worries.

“there may be a developing consensus that human beings aren’t secure with this kind of investment. participants of the Scheme that i’ve spoken to do not want their pension pot used to put money into hands sellers across the world.

” i would urge the elected committee that manages the scheme to venture this and make sure that the pension pot grows to pay future pension liabilities at the lower back of an revolutionary ethical investment coverage, not investing in palms sellers.”

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