HSBC had a really tough day on AGM Friday. And it’s because of people and campaigners around the UK landed two big blows.
🤫 PS. If you’re an HSBC staff member, you can join your colleagues and take a short confidential survey on how you feel about HSBC’s fossil fuel funding here: https://rp38jmcm937.typeform.com/hsbc-survey
Big hit #1 – HSBC bosses don’t like ABBA
HSBC had their AGM – a day where all of HSBC’s shareholders come together to hear from HSBC’s progress. It’s meant to be a day for HSBC bosses to show off their profits and backscratch each other – but it didn’t quite go that way.
As soon as the meeting kicked off with HSBC’s chairman’s perfectly prepared statement, a Money Rebellion choir snuck in and started singing a rendition of ‘Money, Money, Money’ to point out HSBC’s fossil fuel funding. Check the video out:
— Adam McGibbon 🌍 (@AdamMcGibbon) April 29, 2022
Gosh, he didn’t like being interrupted in front of his shareholders.
It set the stage for the barrage of powerful criticism toward the HSBC board. They were made to speak to their human rights abuses, money laundering, funding of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss.
One woman, who had had her pension unfairly slashed, screamed at the board to “hang their heads in shame”. They didn’t know where to look. It really was a powerful moment for accountability.
Big hit #2 for HSBC’s Greenwashers:
A few months back, HSBC was flaunting its ‘green’ credentials on bus stops and billboards around the UK. They left out the fact that they’re funding Saudi Aramco, one of the most aggressive fossil fuel drillers in the world – out for “every last drop”. Dozens of us sprung into action and filed complaints against HSBC to the ad regulator.
Fast forward a few months and we all woke up to the headlines that the ad regulator (ASA) is thinking about banning HSBC from greenwashing. This is big, as it’s the first time an ad watchdog could rule against a bank’s climate ads. And it wasn’t just in any paper. It was in the Financial Times, the exact paper that all HSBC bosses read every morning.
The ASA said that two of HSBC’s climate ads targeting customers were completely misleading. And that any future ads cannot omit information about its fossil fuel funding.
Let that sink it.
This isn’t just a huge win against HSBC – it’s a message to all banks. It means the regulator is listening to us and getting wise to greenwashing from major banks. It means official bodies are waking up to the fact that people don’t want their bank funding fossil fuels. It means we’re winning.
But (big but) it’s not a final decision, and HSBC is fighting this decision – hard. HSBC are appealing, and the ASA could still overturn the decision. We can’t let that happen. So together, we’re putting it out in the public to make sure the ASA feels the pressure to stick with its decision.
😲 STOP SCROLLING
— Bank On Our Future (@bankonourfuture) April 29, 2022
HSBC are feeling the heat in a big way – and they should be. Together, we’re not letting them get away with their continued funding of fossil fuels, and destruction of the planet.