Barclays responds to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

13 May 2024

We do not agree with the claims made by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) on 13 May 2024.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is inflating the financing figure attributed to Barclays - a significant number of UK and global banks are involved in a sustainability-linked transaction, sometimes as many as fifty. Allocating all of it to Barclays to generate a headline is plainly misleading.  

The BIJ states Barclays facilitated $41bn of sustainability-linked sustainable finance for fossil fuel companies last year. We disclose in our annual report the amount of sustainability-linked transactions contributing towards our $1trln target.  We reported $67.8bn of green, sustainable and transition finance in 2023, less than 5% of this was sustainability-linked finance to the Energy sector.  

We report transparently on the green finance, transition finance, sustainable finance and sustainability-linked finance mobilised towards our target of $1trillion of Sustainable and Transition Finance, and our classifications within those categories are consistent with wider industry practice.  

The BIJ cites transactions for three companies that Barclays played a role in – Enbridge, Trafigura and Harbour Energy.  The labelling of these transactions as sustainability-linked is consistent with guidance from industry bodies including the Loan Market Association, Loan Syndications and Trading Association, Asia Pacific Loan Market Association and International Capital Markets Association.

The article quotes stakeholders who disagree with any financing for carbon intensive sectors such as energy and transport. We respectfully disagree. We believe in financing the real economy, helping our clients to reduce their emissions and the emissions we finance.

In February, we announced we no longer provide project finance or direct finance to energy groups for new oil and gas fields and set out very clear requirements in relation to energy clients’ targets, transition plans or decarbonisation strategies in order to access finance from Barclays. Furthermore, our financed emissions for the Energy sector have reduced by 44% between 2020 and 2023, exceeding our 2030 target.