Climate change activists said they smashed the windows of HSBC’s London headquarters over its links to the fossil fuel industry.
Nine women from Extinction Rebellion (XR) and the political party Burning Pink targeted the Canary Wharf building on Thursday morning, using hammers and chisels to break the glass.
They then placed stickers on the windows reading “£80 billion into fossil fuels in the last 5 years” and waited for police to arrive, XR said.
The Metropolitan Police said its officers were called to Canada Square shortly after 7am to reports of protesters causing “criminal damage to a building”.
The force said nine women have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and remain in police custody.
The latest demonstration aimed to highlight the financial sector’s role in the climate and ecological crisis, XR said.
The group claims that despite HSBC’s pledge to shrink its carbon footprint to net-zero by 2050, its existing climate plan allows it to finance coal power.
The women argue that commitments to reaching net-zero carbon emissions in 30 years’ time are largely meaningless without immediate action to put banks on course to avoid an increase in global temperature in excess of 1.5C.
A spokesperson for HSBC said:
We welcome meaningful dialogue on our climate strategy, however, we cannot condone vandalism or actions that put people and property at risk.
We have an ambition to be net-zero by 2030 and to bring our financed emissions to net-zero by 2050.
We have also committed to set out short and medium-term transition targets, and to phase out the financing of coal-fired power and thermal coal mining by 2040 globally. We remain committed to supporting our customers in their transition to net-zero.