UK Banks Survive Shareholder Rebellions Against Climate Strategies

Just under a fifth (19.19%) of shareholders voted against Barclays’ climate strategy at the bank’s AGM yesterday, with around 1% abstaining. Opposition fell short of the 20% level at which firms are required by the UK Corporate Governance Code to consult with shareholders and take further actions to understand and respond to their concerns. Nevertheless, responsible investment NGO ShareAction, which led criticism of the strategy, said Barclays should “play fair”, responding to shareholders within six months, by accelerating its coal phase-out and updating other aspects of its climate-related policies. Separately, almost 12% of Standard Chartered shareholders voted for a resolution brought by international campaign group Market Forces and the Friends Provident Foundation, calling on the bank to align with the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero by 2050 pathway. Further, almost 17% of shareholders voted against a management resolution recommending the board’s climate strategy. Both AGMs were interrupted by activists from Extinction Rebellion.

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