Barclays boycott grows

Barclays’ new climate communications director may face a challenging 2024, trying to stem the tide of customers leaving the bank in protest at its fossil fuel financing. Following Christian Aid’s high-profile exit, others following suit include Sheffield Cathedral, Greenbelt Festival and the Community of Christ, with Cambridge University also planning to end its 200-year relationship with Barclays. 

But reputational damage from driving the climate crisis doesn’t just lead to loss of customers and investor concern; as a company moves towards pariah status, hiring staff becomes increasingly difficult, especially when as major a figure as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres exhorts graduates not to work for “climate-wreckers.” So it will come as no surprise to the bank that hundreds of students from Barclays’ top recruitment universities - including Oxford, Cambridge, and UCL - have launched a ‘career boycott’ of the bank, starting with an open letter pouring scorn on its professed environmental ambitions and “roster of fossil fuel companies [that] have all rowed back on any flimsy green commitments.” As Michelle Hemmingfield of Students Organising for Sustainability UK observed, “New recruitment of the younger generation will be another headache for Barclays as long as it continues to finance companies building new oil and gas infrastructure, since it relies heavily on STEM [science, engineering, technology and mathematics] applicants from Oxbridge and other top universities.”

More news here