FINLAND - Finnish pension funds are inadvertently aiding the development and production of nuclear arms, a new report by research group SaferGloble has claimed.

In the group's Finnish Arms Export Report, it pointed out that funds such as Ilmarinen and local authority fund Keva had stakes in Serco Group and Finmeccanica.

The former is a partner in the UK's Atomic Weapons Establishment - responsible for the continued maintenance of the country's Trident nuclear deterrent system - while the latter is a partner with EADS and BAE System in MBDA, which supplies French nuclear missile systems.

Maria Mekri, researcher at Safer Globe, said many companies were investing in companies that aided the development of nuclear arms "completely inadvertently".

She added that such investments, especially by government entities, were at odds with the foreign ministry's stated policy of promoting the country as one of the leading providers of crisis management and peace-building operations.

"If we don't look where Finnish funding goes, especially when it's public money, there is a potential problem of credibility," Mekri told IPE.

She added: "Many of these companies are completely inadvertently investing in companies  [connected to nuclear arms]. They probably wouldn't if they had really thought about where they were investing."

She speculated that, in many cases, exposure came about due to commitments to fund-of-funds platforms.

Asked whether SaferGlobe would like to see rules introduced that would bar institutional investors from investing in arms, Mekri seemed to view such a step as one for the distant future, saying it was "stage 10" in the process.

"Our hope is we would get a discussion going in Finland, and then through that discussion, which definitely needs to engage the pension providers, there would be solutions," she said.

"It will be quite interesting to see what the pension companies do in the next year or two and what kind of standards will come from within the industry."