Wigan green activists in bank sticker protest

Bank branches and cash machines were adorned with stickers slamming financial firms' record on environmental issues.
A bank branch adorned with stickers by XR Wigan protestorsA bank branch adorned with stickers by XR Wigan protestors
A bank branch adorned with stickers by XR Wigan protestors

Protestors from Extinction Rebellion (XR) Wigan targeted Barclays and HSBC and plastered their premises and ATMs with messages about the companies’ contribution to climate change and biodiversity loss by funding fossil fuel firms.

Branches and cash machines in Wigan town centre, Goose Green, Hindley, Leigh and Golborne as well as at Robin Park were left with stickers emblazoned on them.

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XR Wigan said numerous reports in recent years have identified Barclays and HSBC as two of the worst culprits for channelling money in directions which end up contributing to environmental damage.

Stickers left on a cash machineStickers left on a cash machine
Stickers left on a cash machine

The action in Wigan by protestors was mirrored elsewhere across the country by other XR groups.

And the borough’s environmental campaigners said residents could make a real impact by switching where they choose to bank.

A spokesperson for XR Wigan said: “People trust these local banks, like Barclays on Market Place, with their money, but also an increasing amount of people expect their money to be invested ethically, not funding fossil fuel extraction and investment, when we need to stop using these for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

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“There are better alternatives in banking - and pensions for that matter - and we hope by this action more people will look into better ways of investing their money.”

Barclays announced in May that it would shrink its carbon footprint to net zero by 2050, a promise which was matched by HSBC last month.

However, both plans have already been criticised for the length of the deadline and a vagueness around how some of it will be achieved.

XR Wigan said neither bank has made clear commitments regarding the biodiversity impact of their lending activities.

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The need for urgent action is being increasingly recognised by the authorities with the Committee on Climate Change, the government’s official climate advisors, reporting in June that the UK was on track to meet only six of the 53 indicators and milestones needed to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

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