University of Portsmouth students to stage 'die in' to protest against city council using Barclays bank

University of Portsmouth student Victoria Yates at a Boycott Barclays stall
University of Portsmouth student Victoria Yates at a Boycott Barclays stall
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STUDENTS from the city’s university are staging 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 have been campaigning for the university and Portsmouth City Council to stop using Barclays bank over the company’s investments in fossil fuels.

Member Victoria Yates, 19, said: ‘We want both of them to boycott Barclays because they invest in fossil fuels. People think what I can do in Portsmouth to affect climate change but everyone can make a difference.

‘We want to show that students can make a difference. It isn’t just not having a bank account but cutting any ties in terms of workshops and pledging not to work with them in future.’

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The ‘die in’ protest, where participants pretend to be dead by lying on the ground, is scheduled for November 19 outside of Barclays on Commercial Road.

The University of Portsmouth told The News that its main bank account had been swapped from Barclays to Lloyds about 18 months ago but that is has a deposit account with Barclays as well as all high street banks.

Portsmouth City Council confirmed its bank account was with Barclays. 

Director of finance and resources Chris Ward said: ‘The council followed a rigorous procurement process for banking services to ensure that it met its primary statutory responsibility for the protection of public funds. 

‘Two applications were received and Barclays was the bank selected that most fully met the specification.’

Stephen Morgan, who was Portsmouth South MP until the general election was called, is supporting the group.

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Mr Morgan said: ‘Barclays is a major investor in fossil fuel infrastructure across the globe. It’s time for them to halt their support for the fossil fuel industry.

‘I have met the Eco Society at the University of Portsmouth and I will continue to work with them on this important campaign.’

A Barclays spokeswoman said: ‘We recognise that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today, and 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.’