Big banks target of new Divest campaign
A new campaign calling for banks to stop funding fossil fuels and climate change was launched this week by campaign group Move Your Money.
Currently, Britain’s biggest banks have issued over £66 billion in corporate loans, equities and bonds into coal, tar sands, fracking, oil and gas extraction.
However, the recent Great British Money Survey found that 39% of Brits are concerned about their savings and investments being used to fund fossil fuels, and that more than 1 in 3 (36%) want their bank to stop investing in the sector.
The ‘Divest!’ campaign, supported by a new Move Your Money report on fossil fuels and banking, turns dissatisfaction into action by enabling people to talk directly to their bank about fossil fuel investment.
An online letter to Britain's Big Five banks, HSBC; Barclays; RBS; Lloyds and Santander outlines that they each have three months, until the end of January 2015, to commit to ending their support for fossil fuels otherwise customers will leave them.
The banks have the following assets in oil, gas and coal extraction.
- HSBC - £17,010.64 m
- Barclays - £15,653.73 m
- Lloyds Bank - £15,530.26 m
- RBS - £14,419.32 m
- Santander - £3,542.54 m
Charlotte Webster, Campaign Director, Move Your Money said:
“The divestment movement is spreading across the globe with investment groups like The Rockefeller Brothers recently joining religious groups, foundations, universities, councils and cities all committing to move billions of pounds out of fossil fuels. This month the University of Glasgow pledged to divest £18 million, joining the British Medical Association, Oxford City Council and the UK's Quakers in moving away from fossil fuels.
“People’s everyday savings and investments are ultimately being used by banks to fund climate change, something we’ve found the public simply don’t want. ‘Divest!’ is everyone’s opportunity to tell their bank to clean up its act, or they will walk.”
Visit the Move Your Money site for more >
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