UK Finance: Square Mile HQ targeted by Extinction Rebellion as six arrested
The headquarters of UK Finance in the heart of the Square Mile have been targeted by environmental group Extinction Rebellion.
The Bank-based trade association for UK banking was today targeted with paint and stickers, as protestors read out statements and stuck themselves to windows.
Police arrested six members of the group after the building was hit with pink paint over its glass panels, and the word ‘corrupt’ was plastered on the exterior.
The group said it targeted UK finance to highlight alleged corruption of the financial system and its priority of profits over the planet.
The targeted Angel Court site is also home to Prudential, Bupa and The Takeover Panel, but UK Finance said it knew it was the target of the incident.
It comes amid intense criticism of the oil and gas industry for its sluggishness in moving towards net zero goals and the UK finance and banking industries for investing in fossil fuels.
In response to the action, a spokesperson for UK Finance, which represents over 300 firms in the industry, said: “UK Finance and our members take the issues of climate change and the transition to net sero very seriously.
“The banking and finance sector is playing a key role in supporting decarbonisation and our members are committed to helping finance the transition across the economy.
“The banking and finance sector is also committed to decarbonising its portfolios and financing the green economy in line with the UK’s sustainability goals.”
Chief inspector Rob Bell from City of London Police said: “We received reports of paint being thrown onto a building within Angel Court, Old Broad Street at around 7am this morning.
“City of London Police officers attended and six people have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage”.
Fiona Guillespie, a mother who took part in the action, branded bankers “morally bankrupt” and said they are “self-serving agents who will stop at nothing in their quest for more power at any cost”.
Dean Bowles, who also participated, criticised the financial system as being “rigged so those with wealth gain much more, whilst those who have the least pay the most for its ‘service’”.
This comes as the Financial Services and Markets Bill is going through the committee stage in parliament, which could lead to more deregulation of the financial sector.
Bowles said the bill is “yet another example of unrestrained greed dressed up as growth for all”.