Last week at their AGM, Barclays’ Chairman John McFarlane told a packed hall of their shareholders that the bank would be pulling their money out of Third Energy – the company they own the majority of and that is licensed to frack at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale, North Yorkshire. Reports suggest that this could be happening within 2 months.
Over the last two years campaigners have been protesting outside Barclays branches across the UK and the pressure from campaigners and now politicians from across the country has been building on investors and shareholders to divest from the fracking industry.
Steve Mason of Frack Free Ryedale said: “This is amazing news! Clearly fracking is a bad investment environmentally, socially and financially. With the majority of political parties in England now opposed to fracking, I think potential investors should take heed.
“Where is the long term future of this industry? Why would you put money into an industry that is increasingly rejected by communities and could get banned at anytime? I wouldn’t want my investments relying on election results! Especially after what has happened in recent years”.
Frank Colenso, a resident of Ryedale, added: “We hear today that Barclays Bank are moving their investments in shale gas with Third Energy. This will be great news for the residents of Ryedale. However, the North Yorkshire County Planners need to have a rethink regarding a bond if Third Energy finally go ahead. With a net worth in excess of minus £50m, who now is going to pay the bill if anything goes wrong? We will continue oppose all fracking of any kind in Ryedale, North Yorkshire and the UK to protect health, the landscape, tourism and the community”.
The Barclays Statement can be found here.