Barclays Global is listed as the second largest shareholder in Elbit Systems Ltd of Israel, with 91,588,921 shares out of 1,298, 178,734 total shares. Barclays holds about 6 and a half percent of all Elbit shares.
Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest arms manufacturer, exporting drones and other arms items to countries around the world. It is also a supplier to the Israeli military, including the occupation forces that control the West Bank.
Barclays Bank has more than £7 billion invested in the global arms industry, more than any other UK bank. This is despite having a corporate social responsibility policy that prohibits exports that are used by foreign authorities either to oppress their own populations or to support unjustified external aggression. Barclays’ involvement in Israeli companies dealing with the Israeli military would be enough to delegitimise their claim to follow their own corporate responsibility policy.
For a scathing account of the involvement of British bank in the arms industry, download ‘Banking on Bloodshed’, a report produced in 2008 by the British charity War on Want.