In the 1970s and 1980s Barclays was rightly targeted for its presence in apartheid South Africa. Students in particular attacked branches and refused to open accounts. Barclays justified their continuing in South Africa by claims that they were employing blacks and whites and in so doing were challenging the system. Coincidently, they also made a heap of profits form SA.
Two decades on and nothing changes. Barclays are operating inside Zimbabwe and making millions in profits. What’s more, they are lending money to the Mugabe regime. The lame excuses offered by an even lamer management in the UK are oh-so-similar.
I worked for Barclays in the 1980s and whatever they claimed at the time about having a conscience when they finally pulled out of SA, the reason was because continuing there was causing them PR problems and losing them business.
The best thing that could happen now is for people to start closing accounts and again boycotting the bank until they put morality before profit. The one place that banks can be hurt is in their pockets.