STUDENTS from the city’s university staged a ‘die in’ protest in a bid to get two of the city’s organisations to boycott a bank.
The Eco Society at the University of Portsmouth campaigned outside Barclays in Commercial Road to get the university and Portsmouth City Council to stop using Barclays bank over the company’s investments in fossil fuels.
Member Victoria Yates said: ‘We wanted to raise awareness and once we got people’s attention they were willing to listen and it shows that this is something people care about.
‘We got 1,094 signatures which has smashed our target and the more universities that get involved then we can have a bigger impact locally and nationally.’
The 19-year-old added: ‘The climate crisis is something people are more aware of now and people want to help and make a difference.’
The University of Portsmouth changed their main clearing bank from Barclays to Lloyds around 15 months ago. It still has six subsidiary accounts with Barclays but these are currently in transition to Lloyds and these should be fully transferred by the end of the year.
Work is also under way to transfer two foreign currency accounts and this should be transferred in the New Year.
Two further deposit accounts with Barclays, one of which is a Green Deposit Account, has to be held along with a number of other high street banks and other counter parties to spread cash balances and reduce exposure to risk.
A University of Portsmouth spokesman said: ‘As a university committed to improving global environmental sustainability, we will continue to enhance our ethically responsible investments through future sustainable investment opportunities.
‘We are pleased that our students are passionate and committed to solving environmental issues and we will continue to work alongside them to help change the world.’
Portsmouth City Council confirmed its bank account was with Barclays.
Chris Ward, director of finance and resources, added: ‘We follow a rigorous procurement process for banking services as we have a statutory responsibility to protect public funds and Barclays fully met our specification.’
A Barclays spokeswoman said: ‘We facilitated £27.3bn in social and environmental financing last year, and we are determined to do all we can to support the transition to a low carbon economy, while also ensuring that global energy needs continue to be met.’