Barclays is one of the most popular UK high street banks serving around 24 million British customers [ref = 2017 Annual Report] and a further 24 million globally across 50 countries [ref = BankTrack].
In line with its “commitment to play a leading role in the transition towards a sustainable environment and low carbon global economy”, Barclays does offer a range of ‘green’ products, such as loans; asset finance; and deposits. Everyday customers can get a ‘Barclays Green Home Mortgage’ for which you can apply if you’re purchasing an energy efficient new-build property.
In total “Barclays delivered £31.7bn in financing for specific social and environmental segments” in 2017. [Barclays PLC Strategic Report 2017]
Continued funding of coal projects
“Barclays has a strong and longstanding commitment to managing the environmental and social risks associated with lending and other types of financial services.” [Barclays Coal Statement, 2018]
Barclays is still funding coal, with an aim to reduce it.
“Barclays will continue to reduce credit exposure to clients that derive the majority of their revenue from thermal coal mining and power generation clients where more than 50% of their power generation mix is coal-fired.” (p. 2 Barclays Coal Statement, 2018]
Barclays continues to be implicated in fossil fuels through investment in energy plants and infrastructure. Such projects have a huge environmental impact in addition to often being detrimental to indigenous communities.
Investment in fossil fuel infrastructure
- A corporate loan of USD 20 million in May 2016 for the Annova LNG Terminal in the United States. This project poses threats to the wetland environment as well as the health and economic security of the local residents. See our case study of this project here. [dodgy industries, Annova LNG portion]
- Two loans of USD 340 million (January 2015) and USD 308 million (November 2016) to energy companies involved in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. The project is being heavily criticised for its location in indigenous territory. (Bank Track)
- A loan of CAD 315 million in May 2017 to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, with the aim to triple the systems’ oil transport capacity. (Bank Track)
Implication in Human Rights Violations
In 2013 Barclays backed Anglo American, NHP Billiton and Glencore to the tune of $3.5 billion. These companies are involved in the Columbian mining sector which is notorious for human rights abuses with workers’ health suffering due to the poor working conditions at the mine. Industrial action by the workers has been met with dismissals and the murder of union leaders. (People & Planet)
Email to CEO
I have been a Barclays customer for …. years now. [If you want you can include specific services such as current account, savings, mortgage that you currently have with them .]
However, I am switching banks because of your continued investment in fossil fuel projects such as the Annova LNG Terminal, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project and the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project. I recognise that Barclays has committed itself to reducing funding to coal, but I think that this is not enough.
I would be delighted to return once you align your lending practices with the Paris Agreement target
[You can also mention any other lending or projects that you don’t agree with.]