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New report finds Barclays has substantially increased its financing of arms companies supplying Israel

  • Barclays is financing and profiting from the production of weaponry used in Israel’s genocide in Gaza
  • Barclays now holds over £2 billion in shares of companies whose weapons, components and military technology have been used in Israel’s attacks against Palestinians
  • Barclays provides £6.1 billion in loans and underwriting to these arms and military technology companies
  • Barclays is the target of a major consumer boycott campaign over its arms trade and climate emergency fueling investments  


New research into the finances of high street bank Barclays by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and War on Want exposes a striking increase in the bank’s investments in, and provision of financial services to, arms companies supplying Israel with weapons and military technology it is using to carry out its devastating attacks on Palestinians.

The new report, available here, and published ahead of the AGM on Thursday 9th May, reveals that Barclays has substantially increased its shareholdings in, and its provision of loans and underwriting to, nine companies known to be producing weapons and military technology used by Israel. Barclays now holds over £2 billion in shares and provides £6.1 billion in loans and underwriting to these arms companies whose weapons, components and military technology have been used by Israel in its genocidal violence against Palestinians in Gaza and its attacks across the occupied Palestinian territory.

The new research has found that Barclays now holds £2.7 million of shares in Israeli arms company Elbit Systems – more than doubling its holding since previous research published in July 2022. Elbit Systems supplies the Israeli military with armoured drones, munitions and artillery weapons used in its attacks in Gaza. Barclays also invests over £100 million in General Dynamics, which provides gun systems for the fighter jets used by Israel to bombard Gaza.

More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip, including at least 14,500 children, in what the International Court of Justice (ICJ) considers a plausible case of genocide.

The report says that by providing investment and financial services to these arms companies, Barclays is facilitating Israel’s militarised attacks on Palestinians across their homeland. It is also lending legitimacy to those providing equipment for this purpose. Moreover, the provision of loans and other forms of credit enables these arms companies to grow, acquire new companies, gain more market share, and increase their profits.

Barclays is facing a major consumer boycott campaign, in an historical echo of the boycott which forced it to withdraw from apartheid South Africa in 1986. More than 2, 500 people have closed their accounts on two separate days of collective, public action. Thousands more have pledged never to bank with Barclays. On Thursday 9 May, the day of Barclays’ Annual General Meeting in Glasgow, a further 500 have pledged to close their accounts.

Ben Jamal, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: 

“Barclays is bankrolling Israel’s assault on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. It is shamefully profiting from and complicit in a genocide. Rather than heeding voices of conscience, which includes thousands of former customers, it seeks to make more money from the misery, pain and death of Palestinians. We will not stand by and allow this grotesque, immoral business to go on as usual. We call on everyone to join our campaign – to close their accounts with Barclays, pledge never to bank there until they end their complicity, and picket branches across the UK.”

Asad Rehman, Executive Director of War on Want, said:

“Barclays is synonymous with apartheid for having shamefully propped up and profited from systemised racial discrimination in South Africa and it does the same with Israel, bankrolling systematic, militarised discriminatory violence against Palestinians. Not content with that, Barclays now drives forward – and profits from – genocidal violence against the Palestinians in Gaza. We salute the public for stepping up for justice when the UK’s political leaders alongside Barclays’ top bosses are complicit in genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

Emily Apple, Media Coordinator, Campaign Against Arms Trade, said:

“Barclays sickening investment in death and destruction makes them complicit in the horrific war crimes Israel is committing in Gaza. But through our collective power, we can change this, and show that we will not stand by while Barclays profits from genocide. This new report makes our joint Boycott Barclays campaign more important than ever and should act as a catalyst for even more people to close their accounts and to take action against these grotesque investments.”

Research on Barclays complicity https://palestinecampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/Barclays-report-May-2024-v3-FINAL.pdf