Barclays is facing intense scrutiny on two fronts as the bank prepares to release its annual results on Thursday, as the bank tries to shake off an activist investor and address campaigners’ concerns over its financing of fossil fuels.
Barclays came under pressure last year from activist investor Edward Bramson to reduce the size of its investment bank, culminating in a failed bid to win a seat on the banking giant’s board at its annual meeting.
In November, US-based Bramson extended the duration of the stake his vehicle Sherborne Investors holds in Barclays via a complex loan deal.
The stake, which had been due to expire in December, has now been lengthened to July 2022, raising the possibility of Bramson reviving his activist campaign.
Barclays has also come under increasing pressure over climate change, with two influential investor groups calling on the bank to adopt stricter climate policies in the past month.
Charity Share Action coordinated the launch of a landmark shareholder resolution on climate in January, demanding that Barclays stop financing fossil fuel companies that aren’t aligned with the Paris Agreement’s climate goals.
Last week it emerged that the Investor Forum, whose 50 members control £18.5 trillion in assets, was also pressuring the lender to tighten its environmental policies.
The bank is preparing to introduce stricter rules governing its dealings with the oil industry amid the investor revolt, the Sunday Telegraph reported. City A.M. understands that the changes will not be announced alongside Barclays’ results this week.