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RBS – publicly owned for one year: where’s our money gone?

A year ago, the British public became the majority shareholder in the Royal Bank of Scotland and to make this inauspicious anniversary, this weekend 40 leading figures including environmental and anti poverty campaigners, faith groups, trade unions, academia, MPs and the author Iain Banks have written to Alistair Darling to call on him to transform RBS into...

High Court decision: Treasury can ignore climate change and human rights in RBS’ investments

A High Court judge today blocked a request for permission to hold a Judicial Review over what campaigners say is the Treasury’s lack of adequate environmental and human rights consideration of Royal Bank of Scotland’s investments. Campaigners from the World Development Movement, PLATFORM and People & Planet, who brought the case against the Treasury expressed...
Towards a Royal Bank of Sustainability: protecting taxpayers' interests; cutting carbon risk

Towards a Royal Bank of Sustainability: protecting taxpayers’ interests; cutting carbon risk

This report has been commissioned by People & Planet, World Development Movement, Platform, Friends of the Earth Scotland, and BankTrack to investigate whether and how the Government should align its recent investment in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) with social and environmental objectives, in particular to combat climate change. Although many of its recommendations...

Unprecedented legal battle over RBS’ unethical investments

Today, an unprecedented legal battle will take place in the High Court over the Treasury’s failure to stop the publicly owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) investing in what campaigners describe as ‘some of the most environmentally damaging and socially irresponsible projects and companies around.’ The case is being brought by three small climate and...

Government faces environmental legal challenge over RBS

The World Development Movement, PLATFORM and People & Planet have today launched legal action against the Treasury for allowing public money, poured into the Royal Bank of Scotland to be invested in energy companies, and projects linked to climate change and human rights violations. Since RBS was bailed out in October 2008, it has contributed...

Nationalised banks must go green

Environmental groups are suing the Treasury in an effort to ensure that RBS invests only in sustainable and ethical projects – This article was originally published at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/30/rbs-nationalised-banks-green.   Since the banking crisis last year, RBS has remained firmly in the public eye as the most controversial bank in the UK. Beyond the populist pillorying of Fred Goodwin’s...

Platform witness statement in RBS court case against the Treasury

Court Ref: CO/5323/2009 In the Administrative Court High Courts of Justice Between: Platform World Development Movement People and Planet Claimants and Commissioners of HM Treasury Defendant First Witness Statement of Kevin Smith Background 1. I, KEVIN SMITH of Platform, 7 Horselydown Lane, London SE1 2LN, make this statement in support of our application for permission...

Whose Bank? Our Bank! – RBS & the Future

This article was first published in Platform’s Carbon Web newsletter, issue 11. Between October 2008 and March 2009, the Treasury pumped £33 billion of public money into ‘bailing out’ the Royal Bank of Scotland, to the point where the bank is now 90% owned by the UK taxpayer. Yet the government continues to insist that...

RBS driving conflict in the Congo

This article was first published in Platform’s Carbon Web newsletter, issue 11. Despite relying on government funds and insurance for survival, RBS is still pumping millions into oil extraction in conflict zones. In March 2009, RBS was part of a consortium of 14 banks that lent $1,890 million to the Irish company Tullow Oil –...

Delays underline flawed strategy in Canadian Tar Sands

This article was first published in Platform’s Carbon Web newsletter, issue 11. The collapse in the oil price in the autumn of 2008, tumbling from $147 to $40 per barrel, saw a corresponding rout in one of the most high-cost oil provinces in the world – the Canadian tar sands. From September to April, week...

Falling oil price opens new doors for BP & Shell

This article was first published in Platform’s Carbon Web newsletter, issue 11.   The falling oil price will significantly reduce the bargaining position of oil producing countries. The dramatic crash from an all-time high of $147 a barrel in summer 2008 to $34 in January 2009 has already reversed the trend of resource sovereignty seen...

RBS goes Arctic

This article was first published in Platform’s Carbon Web newsletter, issue 11. In mid-March 2009, after the most recent bailout, RBS financed exploration work in previously untouched regions of Greenland’s Arctic. Acting as joint bookrunner with Merrill Lynch on March 11, RBS placed shares worth £116 million for Cairn Energy, a Scottish oil company. Although...