Food campaign news
Barclays challenged at AGM over food speculation
Shareholders attending the Barclays AGM in London on Friday were greeted by the World Development Movement’s two ‘evil eagle’ bankers on Barclays bikes as they entered the meeting, and our chants of ‘one two three four, Bank on hunger no more!’, and ‘speculation means starvation, what we need is regulation!’. Catchy, huh?
Our Barclays eagles were popular with the crowd of press photographers, and their pictures appeared in London’s Evening Standard that afternoon and most of the national papers the next day. As the AGM began, our policy officer Christine spoke live on the BBC News Channel about how speculation by banks like Barclays contributes to food price spikes.
Inside the meeting, Barclays’ CEO Bob Diamond was at pains to emphasise his call for banks to be ‘better citizens’. But two of our campaigners were there to challenge him, asking how Barclays could be a good citizen when its involvement in food speculation is fuelling hunger and poverty. Diamond’s response was to deny that Barclays speculates directly - but while it is unknown whether or not Barclays speculates on food with its own money, the bank certainly speculates on behalf of its clients, so his denial is meaningless.
We are calling on Chancellor George Osborne to back European proposals for tough regulation to curb speculation on food by banks like Barclays. Please support our campaign by emailing him now.
Miriam is media officer at WDM, and works to generate as much coverage as possible for our campaigns.