Five people have been arrested in central London after protesters sprayed fake oil over the front of the Bank of England.
Members of environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion staged the “elaborate April Fools’ prank” to protest against the role of banks in the climate crisis.
Demonstrators covered the outside of the bank in a substance made of a mixture of black pond dye and guar gum – a thickening agent.
Others held a black and green banner saying “No More Fossil Fools”.
City of London police attended the demonstration on Threadneedle Street, in central London, at about 11.30am and dispersed the demonstrators.
Police said one person had been arrested for criminal trespass and three others had been arrested for criminal damage.
A further arrest was made for going equipped to commit criminal damage.
All five remain in police custody.
In a statement Extinction Rebellion said its actions were aimed at those who are “recklessly endangering our future for profit”.
“The world’s 60 largest banks have funded the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $3.8 trillion since 2016,” they said.
“The action today highlights the Bank of England’s failure to regulate these banks and points to the fact that it still holds investments consistent with 3.5C of warming by the end of the century.”
Other Extinction Rebellion groups across the UK are also due to carry out protests at banks on Thursday, including in Glasgow, Brighton, Cambridge and Cornwall.