Fracking protesters occupy Barclays branches

Anti-fracking protesters in Leeds and Sheffield have reportedly closed several high street branches of Barclays bank.

Protesters say they are against Barclays investment in fracking Credit: Georg von Harrach

At around midday the group, People & Planet, say they are trying to highlight "the social and environmental impacts of the bank’s investments in fracking, tar sands and coal."

Sit-ins and occupations of Barclays branches have taken place in Leeds, Sheffield, London, Lancaster and Oxford.

Barclays has has a stake through Global Natural Resources Investments in Third Energy, a business they say has "a history of investment and good corporate citizenship in North Yorkshire."

The bank also said Third Energy has been drilling, developing and producing gas in the region for over 20 years, with an "excellent" environmental and safety record.

We are conscious of the concerns of local communities and other groups over potential environmental and community impacts, which we take seriously and will continue to monitor. We have worked closely with Third Energy to ensure their plans are compatible with our values and any future shale gas extraction activity will be subject to the full planning process, including environmental assessment and public consultation.

– Barclays

They confirmed a protest took place outside their Albion Street branch in Leeds at midday which lasted around 15 minutes.

A protest also took place in Sheffield: