South Lanarkshire Labor group calls for review of pension fund investment in Russian bank

The South Lanarkshire Labor Group is calling for a review of the Strathclyde Pension Fund’s investment in a Russian bank.

The pension fund, worth more than £27bn, has contributions from local authority staff, around £16.4m of the fund’s investments are tied up in Sberbank – a Russian bank that has been hit hard by sanctions.

Labor advisers are urging an immediate review of the pension fund’s investments in Russia.

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Councilor Catherine McClymont, Labour’s spokesperson for finance and corporate resources, said: ‘From the New York Police Department to the Scottish Parliament pension scheme, public pension funds around the world are divesting Russian financial institutions hit by sanctions.

“Local government pension funds should be no exception.

“A survey of local government employees by Unison Scotland found that 88% believed their pension fund should invest ethically. Municipal workers would be appalled at the very idea that their pensions could sustain Putin’s regime.

“The Strathclyde Pension Fund has over £16m of investments in sanctioned Sberbank.

“The fund is to join the growing list of pension funds around the world choosing to divest from Sberbank and all Russian financial institutions on the sanctions list.

“There should be an immediate review of Strathclyde Pension Fund investments in Russia and urgent action now on Sberbank.

“Solidarity with the Ukrainian people must be more than words and gestures, it must be about our deeds and actions too.”

South Lanarkshire councilors showed solidarity with Ukraine at the last full council meeting on March 2, when a motion was unanimously passed condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Dolores W. Simon