REAL fur, tobacco and now nuclear weapons? Consumer campaigning can score another win by forcing public funds and banks to stop investing in arms firms, it is claimed.

According to a new report, Scottish banking groups RBS, Lloyds Banking Group and Standard Life Aberdeen invested a combined £5.7 billion in major nuclear weapons firms in the past two years. And the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme (SLGPS) – the country’s biggest public sector pension pot – holds shares worth more than £321 million in almost 20 different nuclear arms firms.

The findings come from the latest edition of Stop Funding the End of the World, an annual report by CND Scotland, Medact and the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, under the banner of Don’t Bank on the Bomb.

Councillor Audrey Doig of Nuclear Free Local Authorities Scotland said: “Local councils, the Scottish Parliament and Government departments have to now look at the moral standing of their pension funds supporting the companies that produce nuclear weapons.

“In the past other campaigns have been successful in stopping investment in such items like real fur clothing and smoking.

“We need to give support to this campaign now.”

The guide covers investments in around 30 companies involved in the production and maintenance of nuclear weapons or their delivery systems and platforms.

In a 2016 poll, most Scots opposed the renewal of Trident, something expected to cost around £50bn, according to the National Audit Office.

Research last year found around half of Scots want the Scottish Government in control of where the weapons of mass destruction are sited.

THE Scottish Government itself is strongly opposed to nuclear weapons, as are most MSPs, but the issue remains reserved to Westminster.

However, despite that opposition, much public money remains tied up in their manufacture and maintenance. The report found the SLGPS – which provides for council and college staff as well as those from police and fire services in 11 areas including Fife, Falkirk, the Borders and Strathclyde – has £321m worth of shares in such firms.

While many such funds say these investments provide a necessary return for their members, some such as Tayside Pension Fund – a part of SLGPS – have already committed to stop buying into tobacco firms. And some member organisations, such as Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire and Midlothian councils, have passed resolutions calling on their funds to divest from nuclear weapons.

Renfrewshire’s agreement, proposed by Doig and passed in March, states: “In what is a dangerous and unstable world, it is really important that councils stand up for doing this differently and encourage multilateral nuclear disarmament and divestment from companies involved in developing the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.”

Such divestment, Don’t Bank on the Bomb argues, could create “a powerful incentive for those companies to stop producing nuclear weapons” .

Arthur West, chair of Scottish CND, said: “Financial institutions in Scotland are funding the companies that manufacture nuclear weapons.

“Without that investment capital those companies would not be able to continue building the bomb.”

The Sunday National contacted Lloyds Banking Group and Strathclyde Pension Scheme, a major component of SLGPS, for comment. However, no response was received.