UK Stewardship code

Disclosure Statement relating to the UK Stewardship Code

Barclays Private Bank provides comprehensive specialist investment, banking, lending and wealth advisory solutions  in a number of jurisdictions. This statement relates to the Private Bank’s operations in the UK and references to “Barclays Private Bank”, “we” or “our” are limited to activity undertaken by the UK business in the UK through Barclays Bank PLC and its subsidiary companies.

The UK Stewardship Code 2020 (the “Code”) is a voluntary code published by the UK’s Financial Reporting Council, which came into effect on 1 January 2020. Barclays Private Bank welcomes the revised Code, which builds upon the initial UK Stewardship Code and sets a higher standard of Stewardship expectations. The Code’s aim is to improve the way in which institutional investors interact with the management of companies in which they invest across all asset classes.

While not currently a signatory of the Code, we support its aims, and this statement outlines Barclays Private Bank’s views in relation to the principles.

Barclays Private Bank aims to deliver competitive returns for our clients, and we believe that responsible investing supports this aim. For us, Responsible Investing means integrating material Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)1 considerations (among others) into our investment decisions and fulfilling our stewardship responsibilities through engagement and voting.

We believe material ESG considerations can impact portfolio returns, and so are relevant considerations in managing risk effectively and delivering successful investing outcomes for our clients. Understanding how businesses are, for example, impacting the environment, engaging with employees and key stakeholders, and practicing good governance helps us understand how well these businesses are positioned, now and for the future. As such, we believe ESG considerations, where material, cannot be separated from investment decisions.

Throughout the life of an investment, we aim to identify, manage and mitigate ESG risks. In our fiduciary role, we believe that ESG considerations can affect the performance of investment portfolios (to varying degrees across companies, sectors, regions, asset classes and time horizons 

As a long-term investor, we aim to deliver competitive returns for our clients and create long term value for stakeholders. We believe that ESG considerations may help alleviate the pressure for short-termism and encourage a focus on long term value creation – to the mutual benefit of companies, investors and other stakeholders. These beliefs align with Barclays’ values of Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence and Stewardship which apply across the Barclays Group, including the Private Bank. 

We recognise that our role as a responsible investor is to positively influence companies’ long term management of material ESG considerations with the aim to protect shareholder value. Engagement and voting can be an effective mechanism to reduce risks, potentially enable us to deliver competitive investment returns for our clients and to create long-term value for stakeholders. 

Our partnership with a leading stewardship provider EOS at Federated Hermes (EOS) in the UK, Jersey, Ireland, Monaco and Switzerland supports the bank in engagement across our private banking assets, in equity and fixed income as well as with voting activities. EOS is a leading stewardship service provider that helps long-term institutional investors around the world to meet their fiduciary responsibilities and become active owners of public companies.

We firmly believe in the concept of engagement and voting and through our partnership with EOS we can have more influence to engage with investee companies on long term risks and opportunities.

Where we do exercise our discretion to vote for or against a particular proposal or cooperate with other shareholders, it will be in a manner consistent with its relevant investors’ best interests and when not in violation of anti-trust or any other laws or Barclays policies. Any actual or potential conflict of interests that may arise would be managed in line with the documented Barclays Group Wide Conflicts of Interest Management Standard, which is updated on an annual basis. All employees are expected to adhere to the Group wide Standard and receive training on this. Each division maintains a register of conflicts of interest, which is updated regularly. 

Barclays Private Bank operating in the United Kingdom will update this statement on its website on at least an annual basis.