CAMPAIGNERS toured Worthing town centre’s five main banks on Thursday in protest against their investment in controversial mining companies.
The World Development Movement demonstration attempted to highlight the role of UK high street banks in financing the ‘devastating’ coal extraction industry worldwide.
Around a dozen group members began their tour at HSBC, in South Street Square, continuing to Lloyds, NatWest, RBS and Barclays.
Group leader Dereck Prentis said: “We wanted to bring home to people the reality of what UK banks are actually financing.
“They are pouring billions of pounds of our money into ‘dirty energy’ projects abroad each year by large multi-national companies involving mining, drilling and logging.
The results of these projects frequently involve local people being displaced, often forcibly, and having their lands and water polluted.”
Armed with a megaphone and costumes – including miners’ hats and jackets, the group peacefully made its way round the banks.
Members of the public were invited to sign cards to show their support for the campaign.
Mr Prentis said: “The event went well and as more people appeared there was a good level of interest in what we were doing and a good number of people stopping to talk with our team who were handing out pamphlets.
“We found a healthy level of interest and support for the campaign.”
The group believes there should be tougher regulations on the involvement of banks in financing the energy projects.
“UK banks have lent more to coal extraction companies than banks from any other country in the world,” said Mr Prentis.
“Some of the world’s poorest communities are paying a very high price for it.”
To find out more, visit www.wdm.org.uk