Bank urged to stop investing savers' cash in fossil fuel companies

Campaigners in Dumfriesshire have urged the Bank of Scotland to stop using people’s savings to support fossil fuel energy companies.

Members of Dunscore Church’s Eco Group gathered outside a branch in Dumfries to explain to local people why the institution needs to invest in renewable energy production and support a low carbon future instead.

The gathering to raise awareness about climate change is part of Christian Aid's Big Shift Campaign.

Bank of Scotland
Dunscore Eco Group chairwoman Susan Leask and June and Tim Harmer outside the Bank of Scotland in Dumfries.

The campaigners had on display a special piggy bank poster filled with messages of support for action written by members of Dunscore Church.

Matthew Aitken, who is a member of the Eco Group, said: “As a church and individually, we have made changes to try to tackle climate change.

“So it’s nonsensical that Dunscore Church’s bank is using our money to support companies who continue to destroy the planet,” he added.

“The bank says it supports action to prevent further climate change, but uses our money to support fossil fuel companies.

“That must change because climate change is the biggest issue humanity faces.

“We need everyone, including the people managing our money, to make the right decisions to put us on a safer path towards a better future.”

John Drabble
Dunscore Church minister, Rev Jannie du Plessis, and clerk to the Church Board, John Drabble, attaching their messages to the piggy bank.

The group presented a letter to the bank to be passed to António Horta Osório, group chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group which owns the Bank of Scotland.

Mr Aitken said fossil fuels are increasingly a financial risk as well as fuelling climate change.

He added that the value of fossil fuel companies could decrease rapidly as governments act to reduce carbon emissions.

Christian Aid believes that with a shift in policies and investment decisions, the biggest high street banks could be providing the capital needed to invest in green energy.

Church members across Scotland have been involved in similar campaigns outside banks

Rev Margaret Nutter, a member of Eco Congregation Helensburgh, was part of a group that gathered in front of a Royal Bank of Scotland branch in the town last month.