Barclays is a global financial services provider founded in 1896 and headquartered in London, UK. Today it trades on both the London and New York stock exchanges. Barclays operates as a bank holding company and provides retail banking, credit cards, corporate & investment banking and wealth management services. Its operations spread across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. It has 81,600 employees and GBP 1,384 trillion in total assets.
Barclays links the remuneration of its executive team to sustainability performance criteria. Furthermore, the financial institution discloses the positions it takes in its lobbying and political engagement activities on sustainability themes. It also discloses a list of trade associations of which it is a member including sustainability- and non-sustainability-related organisations.
As a member of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), Barclays has set a target of net-zero financed emissions by 2050. It also discloses the aggregate amount of finance it devotes towards climate and nature- and biodiversity-related solutions, while specifying what these solutions are. Looking to the future, the financial institution aims to finance GBP 100 billion in climate solutions by 2030 and discloses progress against this target. Barclays is committed to minimising its negative impacts on nature and biodiversity and engages with companies on this topic. Moreover, it discloses its process for identifying nature- and biodiversity-related impacts across all its financing activities.
Barclays has a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect human rights and the ILO core labour rights. It also has a grievance mechanism accessible to all workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights, as well as bribery and corruption concerns or complaints. Furthermore, the financial institution has publicly available policy statements where it commits to prohibiting bribery and corruption and to respecting the health and safety of workers. In terms of workforce diversity, the financial institution discloses the proportion of women in its total direct operations workforce for each employee category. The financial institution discloses its approach to lobbying and political engagement in a public policy statement. Finally, Barclays discloses the amount of finance it directs towards usually excluded groups.
Alongside responsibility for climate-related topics, Barclays’ board of directors could also assume responsibility for other sustainability topics. Moreover, there is an opportunity for the financial institution to link the remuneration of its management team to sustainability performance criteria. On the topic of remuneration, while the financial institution discloses actions it takes to address gender equality, for example by actively promoting women into more senior roles, it could clarify how these actions address any identified pay gaps. In terms of female representation in leadership positions, women are underrepresented on the board of directors where only 4 out of 12 board members are women. Moreover, Barclays has an opportunity to describe its engagement approach on sustainability themes and impact topics with clients and investees, across its financing activities.
While Barclays has interim emissions reduction targets for four of its highest-emitting sectors – energy, power, cement and steel – it has an opportunity to disclose an interim target which covers all its financing activities. Moreover, it could ensure that it aligns its climate solutions with internationally recognised frameworks. In terms of engagement on the topic of climate change, the financial institution has an opportunity to disclose the key sectors and companies it has identified as priorities to engage with, specifically on alignment with the Paris Agreement. In addition, there is no evidence that Barclays discloses the amount or share of finance it directs towards high-emitting sectors and fossil fuel sectors.
Barclays has an opportunity to describe a comprehensive process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts across all its activities, especially its financing activities. In terms of workforce diversity, the financial institution discloses an age breakdown for its entire workforce but has an opportunity to disclose this information for each employee category. Barclays could also disclose the amount of finance its directs towards small- and medium-sized enterprises or towards low-income developing countries.
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Net income: GBP 21.94 billion; Total assets: GBP 1.38 trillion