As if the tax evasion wasn’t bad enough (they paid corporation tax of 4.5% last year) Barclays are up for a public eye public shame award (you can vote for them – or one of the other 5 shortlisted companies by clicking on the link)
According to Public Eye –
Barclays effectively bets on hunger by speculating on food prices, contributing to sharp rises and falls that cause hunger and poverty. In the second half of 2010 alone, 44 million people were driven into extreme poverty due to rising food prices. Women, children and elderly people in the global south are often the hardest hit when families struggle to afford food. New European regulations could end the scandal of food speculation, but the UK government and its close allies in the financial sector, such as Barclays, are threatening to block effective rules.
This is a great example of neoliberal economic gobalisation – and it’s way different to neocolonialism – Barclays may well be registered in the UK – but it hardly serves the interests of the British State or average citizen – Much of its money is invested abroad – some of it in such a way as to suck economic value out of the developing world – and much of its efforts go towards networking via the WTO to ensure it isn’t regulated. Profits gained from their unregulated speculative investments are redistributed to shareholders – mainly western institutions and individuals – many of whom are tax registered outside of Britain – meaning that the company doesn’t pay any were near its fair shared of tax to the UK – while in the meantime the poor get hungrier. yes sir, Barlcays is a living, breathing example of yer free-floating globally mobile capital accumulation machine – a key player in upward redistribution of global wealth.
I’d say it’s worthy or yer vote –
P.S. If you want to find more about how banks such as Barclays increase world hunger by driving up food prices – this is a nice infographic by the World Development Movement.