British Barclays bank help Canadian anti-environment anti-First Nations pipeline

Anti-pollution banner on Barclays bank building.  Photo: © Chris J Ratcliffe / Greenpeace

By OCEAN HYLAND of the Tsleil Waututh First Nation in Canada:

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Tar sands extraction is destroying our homes – help us to get Barclays to stop funding this industry

OCEAN HYLAND of the Tsleil Waututh First Nation explains how we can exert pressure on big finance to stop lending to developers who are killing our planet

MY NAME is Ocean Hyland. I am 22 years old and I am a member of the Tsleil Waututh First Nation, located over 5,000 miles from Britain in what you know as Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Tsleil-Waututh means “People of the Inlet” — located on the Pacific coastline of British Columbia, now known as Burrard Inlet, in the heart of Vancouver.

The inlet was historically the source of 90 per cent of our protein; my ancestors used to say: “When the tide goes out, the table is set.” The inlet was our guarantee of food sovereignty. Three miles across the inlet is where the Westridge Marine terminal is located, where a new oil pipeline from the Alberta tar sands would bring oil to tankers queueing up in the inlet.

In 1972, shellfish consumption from the Inlet was banned, due to pollution from industrialisation. The Tsleil-Waututh Nation has been working hard to restore parts of the inlet and, just two years ago, I took part in the first clam harvest since 1972. It’s not easy harvesting clams. They can move quite fast, so you have to be quick and we were, by Tsleil-Waututh standards, pretty inexperienced clam harvesters. But we eventually collected enough for a community dinner to celebrate the People of the Inlet being fed by our inlet once again. Without the inlet, the Tsleil-Waututh will lose our identity.

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation has conducted an assessment of the planned oil pipeline, grounded in our unextinguished indigenous laws and backed by cutting-edge science. Based on this, we have withheld our free prior informed consent.

Building this pipeline will therefore violate the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. It also infringes on our aboriginal rights, guaranteed by the Canadian constitution. If built, the pipeline will increase tanker traffic in the inlet sevenfold, bringing with it increased risks of oil spills and pollution. It will also enable the expansion of the Alberta tar sands, which in turn will accelerate climate change.

The tar sands are a big expanse of bitumen-rich sands and sandstone in Alberta, central Canada. Given enough water, energy and chemicals, you can extract oil from them. In Alberta some of the world’s biggest toxic tailings ponds are located where flocks of migrating birds occasionally land and die. Huge oily deserts, where once there were forests, are now wastelands. If all of the oil in the Alberta tar sands is extracted and burned, it would use up 15 per cent of the entire world’s carbon budget, as set by the Paris Agreement.

And that is why many indigenous peoples and our allies will do whatever it takes to stop this.

The wave of resistance to tar sands pipelines has spread across Canada, where these pipelines are planned, and then across the oceans and around the world.

And we are not powerless. The provincial government of British Columbia was elected on a pledge to resist the pipeline which would end at our inlet. Many other First Nations, Canadians from all walks of life and environmentally conscious people around the world have made building this pipeline so difficult that Kinder Morgan, the Texan company building it, has pulled out in the face of such resistance.

Because of Kinder Morgan’s retreat, the Canadian federal government have had to take on its old assets and responsibility for moving the project forward.

Along with oceans of water, energy and toxic chemicals, the other ingredient needed to produce oil from tar sands, and bring it across a continent to the sea, is money. If the banks stopped lending them money, tar sands pipeline projects would be going nowhere.

Many people think that getting banks to stop lending is an impossible task, that the banks are an unstoppable force which follow money as night follows day. But BNP Paribas and ING won’t lend to tar sands pipelines. And HSBC won’t lend to tar sands pipelines. In fact, there is only one British bank that is still choosing to fund tar sands pipelines: Barclays.

You could argue about whether HSBC stopped offering funding because it wants to protect the climate, or just to protect its brand, but the environmental threat posed by tar sands pipelines caused the popular resistance, and the resistance caused the retreat of Kinder Morgan, HSBC and others.

So I’m asking Barclays not to offer any further funding to these dangerous proposed tar sands pipelines — now, here, in this piece of writing.

And on Friday, when I went to meet a Barclays executive in its global headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf. And the day before that, when I attended a Greenpeace protest at that HQ and their activists lent me a microphone and sound system while they climbed up to the bank’s logo and painted it black. And two months ago, when I went to Barclays’ AGM and told their shareholders some of what I’m telling you now.

And I’m asking you to help, and to ask them the same thing. In person, if you can, or by writing a letter, or signing a Greenpeace petition. Because even though we are a long, long way from winning, we’re getting closer every day, and it would be a sad thing if the People of the Inlet lost our food and our water and our home, and all we got in exchange was pollution.

Canadian court approves controversial pipeline. Indigenous groups’ appeal rejected despite concerns over damage to communities and environment”: here.

Barclays bank charged with fraud

This 20 June 2017 Financial Times video from Britain says about itself:

Barclays, its former chief executive and three other ex-senior executives have been charged with fraud by UK authorities over side-deals struck with Qatar during emergency cash calls to stave off a government bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Barclays charged with fraud over crash

Wednesday 21st June 2017

BARCLAYS and four of its former top bankers have been charged with fraud, the first criminal charges to be brought in Britain against a bank over financial crisis deals.

The Serious Fraud Office announced yesterday that it had brought charges of conspiracy to commit fraud against the bank itself and Roger Jenkins, Thomas Kalaris, Richard Boath and ex-chief executive John Varley.

It follows a five-year probe into the bank’s emergency fundraising from Qatari investors in 2008 as the group sought to avoid a government bailout during the banking crisis.

Qatari investors — the state-backed Qatar Holding and Challenger Universal — pumped £6.1 billion into Barclays in two fundraisings in 2008.

In November that year, Barclays agreed to issue a £2.4bn loan made available to the State of Qatar.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) slapped a £50 million penalty on the bank in 2013 after finding it had failed to disclose arrangements and fees it paid to the Qatari investors.

The defendants and a bank representative will appear at Westminster magistrates’ court on July 3.

Will the Barclays fat cats be jailed; or will they just get a slap on the wrist, being ‘too big too jail‘?

Barclays Bank charged by Serious Fraud Office over Qatar loan. The SFO last year brought the same charges against parent company Barclays PLC: here. And here.

British Barclays bank boss gets £5.5m, bank workers get the sack

This video says about itself:

Barclays Hit With a $450 Million Dollar Fine Over LIBOR Rates

10 May 2013

LIBOR is an average rate set by banks each morning; it measures how much they are going to charge each other for loans. Andrew Stoltmann comments that banks have not learned anything from the market crash of 2008; he further indicates that criminal indictments are needed in order for CEO’s to learn their lessons. Peter Sorrentino also agrees with Andrew’s statement.

By Will Stone in Britain:

Job-slashing boss of failing Barclays takes 1m bonus

Wednesday 4th March 2015

The boss of Barclays accepted a bonus payout yesterday despite taking home in one year what it would take a minimum-wage worker 465 years to earn.

Anthony Jenkins took a £1.1 million bonus for 2014, the first he had accepted in two years, raising his total annual earnings to £5.5m.

It will prove controversial after a year in which Barclays has slashed 14,000 jobs — with another 5,000 to go by 2016 — and closed 72 branches.

Pre-tax profits, down 21 per cent to £2.26 billion in 2014, have been hit after the bank increased provision to cover any outcome of the probe into the foreign exchange rate rigging scandal by £750m to £1.25bn.

It also increased by an extra £200m its provision to cover compensation for customers to whom it mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady hit out at the anomaly of a head of a failing bank accepting such a large bonus when ordinary workers were battling against pay freezes.

“Profits have fallen at Barclays bank and they have had to make huge provision for fines,” she said.

“The chief executive rightly recognises that the bank’s culture must change, but it is hard to have a positive view of any organisation that pays its boss £5.5m in a single year — a sum that would take a full-time worker on the minimum wage 465 years to earn.”

Barclays Bank bosses get bigger bonuses, workers get sacked

This video is called Anger as Barclays cuts jobs and pays bigger bonuses to investment bankers.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Barclays to sack 12,000 – while bonus pool for 2013 rises to £2.38bn

BARCLAYS bank yesterday announced plans to sack 12,000 bank workers and in the very same breath announced whopping bonuses for its top bankers.

The fresh round of job cuts comes on top of 7,650 jobs which the bank slashed last year.

The TUC slammed the ‘scandalous’ situation where the financial sector pays out billions in bonuses while the working class is made to pay for the financial crisis.

The bank’s total bonus pool for 2013 rose by 10% to £2.38bn, from £2.17bn in 2012, with the investment bank’s bonus pool increasing by 13%.

Unashamed Chief Executive Antony Jenkins said: ‘At Barclays, we believe in paying for performance and paying competitively.’

The announcement comes a day after Barclays released its full-year profit figures.

The bank’s statutory pre-tax profits for 2013 rose to £2.9bn, while adjusted pre-tax profits fell to £5.2bn.
Pre-tax profits in its investment banking division slumped 37% to £2.5bn over the year.

The TUC said: ‘The financial sector has paid out twice as much in bonuses since the crash than it has paid in corporation tax.

The TUC added: ‘It is scandalous that while people across Britain have paid for a recession caused by the City through job losses, pay freezes and cuts to vital public services, the financial sector is still able to pay out billions in bonuses’.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: ‘The very people in the City who caused the crash have got away scot-free, and instead been rewarded with tens of billions of pounds in bonuses.

‘Today Barclays has stuck two fingers up to hard-pressed families across Britain by announcing another multi-billion pound bonus pool.’

Dominic Hook, Unite’s national officer, the union which represents bank workers, said: ‘Despite claims there would be no return to its old ways, Barclays is increasing bonus pools for those already paid unimaginably high salaries. At the same time the bank continues to announce thousands of job losses for ordinary workers.’

Hook warned: ‘Unite will strongly oppose any attempts to make compulsory job cuts.

‘Rather than reward the very few at the top and plan to cut thousands more jobs, Barclays should have used today to give a copper-bottomed guarantee that it will not close 400 branches across the UK – a quarter of its branch network.’

He added: ‘There are big questions about how Barclays will maintain customer service standards as it cuts jobs and forces those workers that survive to be ever more productive.’Commenting on Barclays’ full year results, Roger Barker, Director of Corporate Governance at the Institute of Directors, said: ‘It cannot be right in any business for the executive bonus pool to be nearly three times bigger than the total dividend pay-out to the company’s owners.’

JUST in case readers thought that we were going soft on Barclays bank, or even more unlikely, that Barclays itself had done nothing questionable recently, New York attorney-general Eric Schneiderman has come to our rescue: here.

BARCLAYS was hit with a record £37.7 million fine yesterday for failing to provide adequate protection for its clients’ funds: here.

Barclays Bank violates customers’ privacy

This video from Britain is called Barclays caught in LIBOR rate fixing scandal; Newsnight 27 6 2012.

From the Mail on Sunday in Britain:

Exposed: Barclays account details for sale as ‘gold mine’ of up to 27,000 files is leaked in worst breach of bank data EVER

Cache of personal and financial details stolen and sold to rogue traders

Unscrupulous dealers ‘used information to pressure investors into scams’

Bank thanked Mail on Sunday for revelation and launched investigation

Barclays now face unlimited fines for not protecting customer information

Former City broker blew the whistle on the files to stop problem growing

By Ian Gallagher and Stephanie Condron and Simon Watkins

PUBLISHED: 22:00 GMT, 8 February 2014 | UPDATED: 22:00 GMT, 8 February 2014

Barclays Bank is reeling from an unprecedented security breach after thousands of confidential customer files were stolen and sold on to rogue City traders.

In the worst case of data loss from a British High Street bank, highly sensitive information, including customers’ earnings, savings, mortgages, health issues and insurance policies, ended up in the hands of unscrupulous brokers.

The data ‘gold mine’ – also containing passport and national insurance numbers – is worth millions on the black market because it allowed unsuspecting individuals to be targeted in investment scams.

Barclays last night launched an urgent investigation and promised to co-operate with police.

It is not clear how the records were stolen, but the bank could face an unlimited fine if found guilty of putting customers’ details at risk.

The leak was exposed by an anonymous whistleblower who passed The Mail on Sunday a memory stick containing files on 2,000 of the bank’s customers.

He claimed it was a sample from a stolen database of up to 27,000 files, which he said could be sold by shady salesmen for up to £50 per file.

‘This is the worst [leak] I’ve come across by far,’ said the former commodity broker. ‘But this illegal trade is going on all the time in the City. I want to go public to stop it getting bigger.’

Barclays blasted over ‘catastrophic’ theft of thousands of customer files. Files containing names, addresses, medical details and NI numbers have allegedly been sold for use by scammers: here.

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Libor banking scandal continues

This video is called Record fine for UBS.

By Andre Damon in the USA:

UBS Libor-rigging settlement exposes pervasive bank fraud

20 December 2012

UBS, the largest bank in Switzerland, announced Wednesday it had agreed to a $1.5 billion settlement with regulators in three countries, admitting that between 2005 and 2010 it intentionally manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), the most important global interest rate.

A report issued by the British Financial Services Authority (FSA) on the settlement provides voluminous documentation, in the form of emails and instant message exchanges, of the falsification on virtually a daily basis of UBS’ submissions to the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), which oversees Libor.

The settlement comes six months after a $450 million deal between regulators and Barclays, the fourth-largest global bank, to settle charges that it similarly manipulated Libor.

UBS and Barclays are among some 20 major financial institutions under investigation for colluding to manipulate the benchmark rate, including HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Sumitomo Mitsui, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America.

The Libor scandal has laid bare the rampant criminality in the operations of the world’s major banks and exposed the fact that the so-called “free market” is rigged by the most powerful banks and corporations for their own profit.

The Libor rate, which is set daily in London under the auspices of the BBA, a private banking lobby, is supposed to reflect the average cost of loans between major banks. An estimated $800 trillion in financial products are linked to Libor. These include $10 trillion in mortgages, student loans and credit cards. About 90 percent of US commercial and mortgage loans are linked to the index.

Between 2005 and 2007, Barclays, UBS and other banks systematically inflated their borrowing cost estimates to the Libor board in order to drive up the Libor rate and increase their profits on derivatives linked to it. After 2007, when the global financial crisis intensified, the banks lowballed their submissions to Libor in order to mask their financial weaknesses and lower their borrowing costs.

By manipulating the rate upward, the banks robbed countless millions of people of billions of dollars in inflated loan costs. By manipulating the rate downward, they deprived states, cities, pension funds and retirees with fixed investments of untold billions in revenues from bond holdings.

The settlements with both Barclays and UBS—expected to be followed by similar deals with other banks under investigation—enable the banks to pay a small fraction of their revenues and avoid any criminal charges. Not a single leading executive at either bank has been named or indicted for his or her role in defrauding the world.

In the case of UBS, the US Justice Department made a point of not criminally charging UBS itself, instead obtaining a guilty plea only from its Japanese subsidiary. Only two mid-level UBS employees have been criminally charged.

On June 30, the co-chairman of Deutsche Bank, Anshu Jain, suddenly resigned, supposedly voluntarily. It has since become clear that Jain was forced out due to his involvement in the criminal manipulation of the Libor lending rate, which was uncovered in the summer of 2012: here.

USA: Libor manipulation cost Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac more than $3 billion, according to an estimate by a government watchdog, who recommends the government-owned mortgage giants sue the big banks: here.

A US judge has dismissed most of the claims against a group of banks including Bank of America, Royal Bank of Scotland, JP Morgan Chase and Barclays in civil lawsuits over the rigged Libor interest rate.

Ex-Goldman Sachs trader faces fraud charge after surrender to FBI: here.

Anti-fraud agency hints at inquiry into Libor scandal: here.

CITY trader Tom Hayes has been found guilty of rigging global Libor interest rates. He has been sentenced to 14 years in prison. His defence was that everybody was doing it: here.

Bank of England implicated in illegal Libor rigging: here. And here. And here.

Citibank refuses to condemn Ugandan gay-killing bill

This video from Uganda says about itself:

Pastor Joseph Tolton Preaches At Ugandan Gay Rights Activist David Kato‘s Memorial Service

Uganda’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and trans-gender community today marked a year since the death of David Kato who was killed at his home last year. His killer has since been caught and jailed. Main celebrant Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo and a US based pastor Joseph Tolton encouraged the Ugandan community to adopt greater tolerance and understand of this particular community rather than shunning them. (1/26/12)

From ThinkProgress in the USA:

Citibank Refuses Petition To Condemn Uganda’s ‘Kill The Gays’ Bill

By Zack Ford on Nov 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm


Citibank is one of the largest businesses and employers in Uganda, but the company refuses to take a position against the proposed “Kill The Gays” bill. Over 500,000 have petitioned the company, as well as Barclays, to come out against the odious proposal if only to protect its employees and customers in the country. Citibank responded to the petition today, but only reiterated its nondiscrimination policy:

While the laws and cultural norms in some countries where Citi operates differ from commonly accepted global standards for human rights, Citi supports equality without regard for, among other personal characteristics, race, gender, gender identity or expression, disability, age, nationality, or sexual orientation.

“Supporting equality” is a particularly weak statement in response to a bill that would blatantly persecute gay people and their allies with life sentences in prison or the death penalty. Barclays at least took the added step of acknowledging the bill and its opposition:

Barclays has a strong history of supporting all aspects of diversity, both in the workplace and in wider society. Equally, we are proud of playing our part in the development of economies across Africa, and the key role Barclays plays in the lives of millions of our African customers. Barclays is aware of the proposed legislation relating to homosexuality in Uganda and we are engaging at appropriate levels of the Ugandan Government to express our views.

Sign the petition to encourage these banking giants to use their significant corporate influence to protect the lives of LGBT citizens.

Rep. Eliot Engel Statement on Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill: here.

Barclays banksters back bigotry

This video is called LIBOR Fraud of The Century (Barclays).

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

No right to whip up bigotry

Friday 02 November 2012

Barclays and Coutts banks should think twice about blackmailing gay rights charity Stonewall into dropping its Bigot of the Year annual award.

Stonewall was set up to defend lesbian and gay people against being bullied into submission and anonymity by narrow-minded bigots.

Bankers’ public image is not so good that these wealthy companies can ill afford being seen as the bullies they show themselves to be.

Barclays is currently in the frame for trying to manipulate energy prices in the US. It has already been fined £290 million for rigging the Libor benchmark interest rate.

And the bank has also set aside £2bn to meet the cost of what is politely termed “mis-selling” payment protection insurance – fraud, as it should be called.

So any bid by Barclays to assume the moral high ground by warning Stonewall that persistence with the “bigot” award will cause the bank not to support the annual awards ceremony should be treated with the contempt it merits.

Businesses give financial support to campaigning charities such as Stonewall to polish their corporate image. Some need more buffing up than others.

It does not give them the right to tell them what level of outrage against discrimination is acceptable.

Barclays executives may be unaware of the degree of hurt suffered by many lesbians and gay men by dint of the campaign headed by Cardinal Keith O’Brien to prevent civil marriage in Scotland.

The fierceness of the cardinal’s rhetoric on this issue is in stark contrast to the mealy-mouthed platitudes uttered in response to the widespread abuse of children carried out by Catholic clergy and, worse still, the systematic cover-up at all levels of his church.

Cardinal O’Brien has sought to mobilise Catholics in Scotland to press the Scottish government to deny homosexuals the right to marry in a registry office.

Draft legislation imposes no compulsion on any religion. Religious denominations will continue to be able to set their own rules on who marries in their places of worship.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, who received a Stonewall award as the first openly gay leader of a major political party, distanced herself from the “bigot” description, insisting that she “will also respect those who hold a different view.”

Respect must go two ways and Cardinal O’Brien’s disagreement with the principle of universal equality before the law has been less than respectful.

Calling this a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right” goes beyond the normal bounds of decency, as does his equation of gay marriage with slavery.

Advocacy of discrimination is not a victimless crime.

Lesbians and gays are aware that hostility to their legitimate wishes can be fuelled by the cardinal’s words to an extent that puts their personal safety at risk.

They have every right to defend themselves through mockery, which is what the Bigot of the Year award is about.

A church spokesman’s categorisation of this award as revealing the depth of Stonewall “intolerance and willingness to attack and demean those who don’t share their views” speaks volumes, as does his suggestion that government funding of the charity should be reconsidered.

Public organisations and individuals must understand that, if they can dish it out, they should be able to take it.

No-one has the right to whip up bigotry against a minority if they can’t take being described as a bigot.

This video is called Losing Faith: Abuse, Cover-Up and the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien to give up frontline role in Catholic Church of Scotland: here.

Barclays top dogs grab £40m bonus: here.

British riches and poverty news

Economic recession, cartoon

England: NHS workers were up in arms today after a Gloucester NHS trust chief seeking to slash staff pay gloated about buying himself a new boat: here.

Banking giant Barclays today reported a 13 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £4.2 billion in the first half of 2012 – despite a string of public outrages: here.

City regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced new rules today to clamp down on banks and building societies mis-selling customers packaged accounts: here.

More than one in five workers are being forced by employers to pay for personal protection equipment (PPE) out of their own pocket in flagrant breach of the law, the TUC said today: here.

Britain’s poorest pensioners are losing more than a third of their income to taxes, new research warned today: here.

Britain’s depressing economic recession and rocketing unemployment figures may have driven more people to commit suicide over the last couple of years, experts suggested today: here.

A mansion in London’s posh Knightsbridge has gone on sale for £300 million—making it the most expensive house sale in British history: here.

Scotland’s Labour shadow health secretary called on the government today to break the “link between poverty and early death” after figures revealed poorer Scots live more than 13 years less than wealthier people: here.

The government’s savage welfare cuts will shove the majority of British children below the breadline within two years, the TUC warned yesterday: here.

Barclays fraud bank’s boss gets millions

Bob Diamond cartoon

By Tony Patey in Britain:

Barclays bungs Diamond £2m on his way out

Tuesday 10 July 2012

by Tony Patey

Barclays boss Bob Diamond walked out of his job at £40,000 a footstep, it was revealed today, a week after he quit amid a rate-rigging scandal.

Mr Diamond – who has already raked in millions as a high-flying banker – is expected to receive £2 million after deciding to forego a potential £20m in bonuses and share awards.

So when he walked out – with immediate effect – of Barclays’ headquarters in Canary Wharf he took the lift from his 31st-floor office and made £40,000 a stride as he went 50 metres to the door.

He has agreed to take up to 12 months’ salary, his pension allowance and other benefits, the bank said in a statement, which works out to around £2m.

Unreality also extended to the world of No 10.

Asked about Mr Diamond’s pay-off, Prime Minister David Cameron’s official spokesman said: “This is a decision for Bob Diamond and for the board of Barclays.

“I think the decision to forgo the bonus is a sign that they understand public concerns and that they understand that there is a need for a change in the culture of banks.”

Barclays chairman Marcus Agius told the Treasury select committee that Mr Diamond had voluntarily decided to forego any deferred consideration and any deferred bonuses worth up to £20m.

Both resigned last week over revelations that Barclays traders attempted to manipulate the key inter-bank lending rate Libor, but Mr Agius is staying on to lead the search for Mr Diamond’s replacement.

The bank was fined £290m for attempting to fix Libor.

It is thought Barclays remains in talks with Mr Diamond’s right-hand man, chief operating officer Jerry del Missier, over his pay-off. He quit the same day as Mr Diamond.

As big banks face the fallout from a global investigation into interest rate manipulation, American and British lawmakers are scrutinizing regulators who failed to take action that might have prevented years of illegal activity: here.

The latest annual study by Democratic Audit depicts important aspects of the decay of democratic rule in Britain under the impact of a growing divide between rich and poor: here.