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Public policy engagement

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Rationale

We have a responsibility to engage with policymakers including governments, parliamentarians and industry groups. Our views are often sought by policymakers and we have an obligation to contribute in an accurate, factual and meaningful way, on socio-economic policy issues, including sharing insight from trends in our business activity. We engage in dialogue on issues where we have a legitimate interest, i.e. where public policy directly affects our business, customers and clients. We aim to ensure that any communication undertaken is honest, comprehensive and accurate.

Governance

Responsible corporate citizenship requires active engagement in legislative processes and policy discussion. Our engagement with policy makers and advocacy on public policy (political and legislative) issues is coordinated by our Government Relations team. Members of the team work closely with Barclays’ businesses to identify public policy and legislative priorities, regionally (in Africa, Asia, Europe and USA) and globally, that impact our ability to help customers achieve their ambitions – in the right way (in accordance with our stated Purpose).

Responsibility for co-ordination and oversight of monitoring, analysis, development of policy, legislative responses and engagement with political and legislative stakeholders rests with the Global Head of Government Relations, working with the regional heads of government relations.

Engagement with policy makers

Barclays believes that an open and transparent dialogue with legislators and senior policy makers is a necessary requirement for good corporate citizenship and meets regularly with policy makers in the countries in which it operates, principally the UK (and EU), USA and South Africa directly, and through trade associations representing the commercial sectors of activity in which we operate.

For example, in the UK this includes meeting with Members of Parliament locally or in Westminster, and those in England and Wales are provided with periodic updates on financial and economic metrics relating to their constituency. 

This information is also available at Barclays Local Insights Barclays Local Insights (new window)

In 2014, Barclays met with 21 UK Government Ministers.

In South Africa we also engage on public policy issues through the National Economic Development and Labour Council.

Government consultations

As part of our disclosure policy we publish our responses to government consultations and position papers globally (or executive summaries where these contain commercially sensitive information) on the issues which we are principally engaged. These are available to download below. 

Agencies

Barclays retains the services of public affairs agencies in a number of locations. They are principally employed for the purposes of political monitoring and strategic advice.  They are not generally used to make representations to governments or policymakers, but where they are used for that purpose, details are disclosed in accordance with applicable laws and listed here. A full list of firms we retain in each geographical region is listed below:

  • UK

    • Cicero Group
    • Weber Shandwick (Scotland only)
  • EU

    • Fleishman Hillard
  • US

    • The Cypress Group
    • Rich Feuer Anderson
    • Edelman Insights
    • Vuma Reputation Management
    • Fleishman Hillard
    • Cicero Group
    • We do not retain any public affairs agencies in Asia.

Barclays does not employ the services of serving politicians for lobbying/political engagement on behalf of the organisation. 

Trade associations

Barclays is a member of an estimated 120 trade associations globally. These associations work to represent their members and shape industry’s collective response to public policy issues. We seek to be an engaged and constructive member of all associations in which we participate, but given the breadth of many associations’ memberships there are instances where we may take a different perspective from that of the association.

Listed below is a summary of the key associations in which we participate:

  • UK

    • British Bankers Association
    • Payments Council
    • UK Cards Association
    • Council for Mortgage Lenders
    • Confederation of British Industry
    • British Chamber of Commerce
    • The City UK
  • US

    • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
    • The Clearing House Association
    • American Bankers Association
    • Institute of International Bankers
    • Financial Services Roundtable
    • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • EU

    • Association for Financial Markets in Europe
    • Euro Banking Association
    • Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets
    • Australian Financial Markets Association
    • Hong Kong Association of Banks
    • Japan Securities Dealer Association
    • Indian Banks Association
    • Banking Association South Africa
    • Business Unity South Africa
    • Business Leadership South Africa
    • National Business Initiative
    • South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry
    • International Swaps and Derivatives Association
    • International Capital Markets Association
    • International Securities Lending Association

Information on the principal issues on which these trade associations are actively engaged is available from the websites of the respective organisations.

 

Political expenditure

Barclays is a politically neutral organisation and does not engage in party political campaigning or make party political donations.

Barclays does not give any money for political purposes in the UK, the rest of the EU or outside of the EU, nor does it make any political donations to political parties or other political organisations, or to any independent election candidates, or incur any political expenditure.

The definitions of political donations and political expenditure used in the United Kingdom Companies Act 2006 are very wide. They may cover activities that are an accepted part of engaging with stakeholders, ensuring that issues and concerns affecting our operations are considered and addressed. However, these may not be considered as political donations or political expenditure as they are commonly understood. These activities are not designed to support any political party nor to influence public support for any political party.

As a result, Barclays typically seeks authority from its shareholders, by way of a resolution passed at its Annual General Meeting, to make political donations and to incur political expenditure, within specified maximum amounts. This resolution also applies to Barclays’ subsidiaries. This is a precautionary measure, to ensure that Barclays does not inadvertently breach the United Kingdom Companies Act 2006.

In accordance with the US Federal Election Campaign Act, Barclays provides administrative support to a federal Political Action Committee (PAC) in the USA funded by the voluntary political contributions of eligible Barclays’ employees. The PAC is not controlled by Barclays and all decisions regarding the amounts and recipients of contributions are directed by a steering committee comprising employees eligible to contribute to the PAC. Contributions to political organisations reported by the PAC during the calendar year 2014 are disclosed in Barclays Annual Report and Accounts.

Colleagues involved in political activity in a personal capacity have a responsibility to make sure that this is kept entirely separate from their duties as an employee and that Barclays’ funds or resources (including time) are not used for political purposes. It is not permitted for any colleague to coerce or pressurise other employees to make political contributions. This is set out clearly in our Code of Conduct on which all employees undergo annual training.

Lobbying expenditure

Barclays complies with applicable laws and requirements in relation to the disclosure and publication of lobbying expenditure. We also comply with requirements in relation to disclosure of participation in registers of lobbyists in each of the jurisdictions in which we operate. Barclays’ lobbying expenditure in the EU and US can be accessed below.

In the EUBarclays’ lobbying expenditure in the EU (new window) In the USBarclays’ lobbying expenditures in the US (new window)
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