Bishop & Sewell

Extinction Rebellion continues to target banks in its efforts to promote the ban on fossil fuels. Last month it’s latest campaign focused on Barclays, claiming the bank has supported fossil fuels with $190 billion of investments since the 2015 Paris climate agreement, writes David Little, a partner in our Corporate and Commercial Law team.

As reported here activists for Extinction Rebellion superglued the doors shut of fifty branches of Barclays across the UK. Pointless, but quite funny.

The climate change group’s own statement notes: “We urge Barclays customers to use their power by moving their account to a bank more aligned with a liveable future for the planet.

Perhaps they might have, if their branches weren’t superglued shut?

In 2021, a group of eight women from Extinction Rebellion smashed the windows at HSBC’s headquarters in London.

They caused about half a million £’s worth of damage, again in protest at HSBC having invested more than £80 billion into fossil-fuel infrastructure.

The jury found the women not guilty, despite them cheerfully admitting that: “At no point did any of us deny that we used hammers and chisels to carefully break the glass of HSBC’s windows”.

This suggests the protestors won the battle for public opinion, that time. The jury just decided it doesn’t like the banks – who does? In fact, remembering the HSBC story I’ve waited a few days just to see whether this Barclays supergluing jape worked. From what I can see via online search the story has died.

So what has the protest achieved? One might argue that the banks themselves have been doing a pretty good job of closing down branches, without assistance from Extinction Rebellion.

So was supergluing fifty Barclays’ shut an effective protest?

I’m writing about it, several days’ later, so I imagine some would see that as success.


Contact our Corporate & Commercial Solicitors

David Little is a Partner at Bishop & Sewell in our expert Corporate & Commercial team. If you would like to contact him, please quote Ref CB437 on either on either 07968 027343 / 020 7631 4141 or email

The above is accurate as at 05 December 2023. The information above may be subject to change.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Category: Blog, News | Date: 5th Dec 2023

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