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Banks face coal-funding boycotts

A month ago, Barclays faced a call for boycott over Zimbabwe. Now, campaign groups are calling for a boycott on several high street banks, including RBS, HSBC and Barclays, because they are still channeling billions of new investment into coal.

According to the Guardian:

The warning came as 50 campaigners were arrested over the weekend at the climate camp set up to protest against building a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent. Clashes with police occurred at E.ON’s site near Hoo in Kent over the weekend as climate campers dug in for a week of protests.

RBS has been accused of helping with $16bn worth of funding in two years for companies such as E.ON and campaigners allege HSBC has provided $10bn and Barclays $5.79bn.

It’s unlikely any widespread boycott will happen. Petrol sales figures highlighted that dips only happened when it became expensive to fill up at the pumps.

There is no stick to prompt change and therefore the impetus is weaker.

That said, there are alternatives to the big banks. Caisse d’Epargne offers a green guide on its financial products and the Co-op has a “customer-led ethical policy that says who we will and will not do business with.”

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