Barclays under investor pressure over fossil fuel position

Barclays is facing increasing pressure over its environmental stance after one of its top 25 investors came out in favour of a shareholder resolution urging the bank to stop lending to fossil fuel companies.

Jupiter Asset Management, which holds a 1.2% stake, is the largest shareholder to back the resolution, which will be voted on at Barclays’ annual investor meeting on 7 May.

It ratchets up the pressure on Barclays to phase out services to fossil fuel companies that fail to align with Paris climate goals, amid concerns about Barclays role as Europe’s largest financier of fossil fuel companies.

The Church of England’s investment arm, Europe’s largest asset manager Amundi, and the largest UK pension fund by members, Nest, have also declared plans to back the resolution, which has been spearheaded by campaign group ShareAction.

Jupiter Asset Management’s head of governance and sustainability Ashish Ray said: “As investors, we expect boards and management teams to maintain a long-term mindset and appropriately manage key risks to their business. We see the goals of the resolution as entirely consistent with this approach.”

A Barclays spokesman said: “We continue to engage with ShareAction and other shareholders on this issue and will make a further statement at the appropriate time.”

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