‘Pension fund manager PGGM pulls out of Israeli banks’

Dutch pension fund asset manager PGGM has stopped investing in five Israeli banks because they are financing Jewish settlements and have branches in the West Bank, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Haaretz says PGGM is withdrawing on the basis of United Nations resolutions which have defined the settlements as illegal.

PGGM itself has not yet commented on the claims. However, in 2010 the organisation said it was reviewing its Israeli investments after adopting new guidelines for socially responsible investment in companies which operate in conflict zones.

PGGM has assets under management of over €150bn, including those of the massive Dutch health service pension fund.

Several Dutch companies have recently pulled out of Israeli investments. Water company Vitens ended an alliance with Israel’s state-owned water company Mekorot and civil engineering group HaskoningDHV pulled out of a water purification plant project in eastern Jerusalem.