Falkirk Pension Fund, which manages £2.3 billion in the pension funds for Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils, sold off its £6m holding in Bank Hapoalim following an assessment by the Fund Manager that concluded the political and reputational risks associated with Israeli Bank Hapoalim were significant.
The Fund management had earlier “challenged the Bank on several occasions regarding their activities in the Occupied Territories and their approach to human rights” and reported that Bank Hapoalim “admits that it provides mortgages to customers in the occupied territories” despite, as Falkirk Pension Fund notes, “business activity in the occupied territories is generally considered a breach of international law”.
Both Lothian and Tayside Pension Funds still hold stock in Bank Hapoalim.
Sam Macartney of Unison Scotland International committee welcomed Falkirk Pension Fund’s action:
“In the week we have witnessed the disgraceful actions taken by the Israeli State in removing recognition and rights to self-determination of Palestinians, which now confirms this government as an apartheid regime, it is refreshing to see a Scottish authority take such action on local government pensions.
We now see one members pension schemes divesting from companies who are unethical and support apartheid regimes. I would hope that other authorities will take similar actions and follow Falkirk Council’s stance.”
Read more about Bank Hapoalim’s invovlement in Israeli apartheid: