Around 50 branches of Barclays across the country have been glued shut overnight by activists led by Money Rebellion. Staff and bypassers were greeted with posters on branch entrances decrying the bank’s ongoing financing of fossil fuel companies driving the climate crisis, activity that places Barclays squarely in the ranks of those U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres describes as the enablers of the oil and gas giants that have opened “the gates to hell”.
The action by the group echoes an intervention by Greenpeace in 2020, with similar motivation. As a Money Rebellion spokesperson explained, “Superglued locks shutting down a branch may impact its business in the short term, but the longer term damage is to Barclays’ reputation as customers discover how its outdated business model destroys the environment, and take their money elsewhere”, urging customers to visit sites like switchit.green to find a better bank.
Given how unfavourable to Barclays recent figures from the Current Account Switch Service look, the bank may be increasingly worried about such damage. One activist lamented that “Barclays are choosing short term profits over a liveable future and a lot of us are sick of the measly progress they’re making, as they hide behind their lies and greenwash” - and may be far from alone in that view.