Fight against the arms trade

Amnesty denounces gaps in Luxembourg financial regulation

Amnesty challenges the Luxembourg financial sector for not adopting "a regulation, with guidelines and procedures to effectively limit financial support for activities in connection with weapons."
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(JB/AFP) Human Rights organisation Amnesty International Luxembourg has denounced what it calls "serious shortcomings" of banking regulation in Luxembourg in the fight against the arms trade.

In a report published Friday, and entitled "Banks, weapons and violations of human rights", the organisation challenges the Luxembourg financial sector for not adopting "a regulation, with guidelines and procedures to effectively limit financial support for activities in connection with weapons."

At a press conference, David Pereira, the president of Amnesty International branch in Luxembourg, regretted the "shortcomings" of the Luxembourg legislation and "lack of transparency" of banks on transactions related to smuggling weapons.

"The inadequacy of national legislation creates a reluctance within the Luxembourg financial sector to adopt and follow the guidelines and appropriate procedures for the financing of the arms industry," said Mr Pereira.

"Substantial gaps were identified in the internal control procedures of the banks in respect of transactions relating to arms," ​​added Gabriela Quijano, an Amnesty legal advisor.

Luxembourg institutions have an "incomplete knowledge of their legal obligations and their responsibilities for human rights," she added.

The Amnesty report, which is based on a two-year investigation between February 2013 and March 2015 with seven major banks in Luxembourg, identified a "lack of vigilance towards customers and a lack of staff training".

However, these weaknesses detected in Luxembourg apply to most banks in the European Union, says Amnesty, which calls upon the Grand Duchy to "strictly prohibit financial activities related to weapons and to take all necessary measures for the ban to be truly applied and respected."

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