The four largest UK banks – Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland,
Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC – are all involved in financing dirty
Of the UK’s three largest insurance companies, two – Prudential
and Legal & General – are investing in dirty energy projects – and
the third – Aviva – has shares in extractives companies managing
dirty energy projects.
Together, these seven finance companies have on their Boards of
Directors seven former ministers/shadow ministers or former
senior servants. They also have 21 people currently serving on at
least 10 government-linked advisory boards such as the Prime
Minister’s Business Advisory Group and the Board of the Cabinet
Of the seven finance companies, three – HSBC, Legal & General
and Aviva – are each shareholders in three of the world’s largest
UK mining corporations involved in dirty energy projects (Anglo
American, Xstrata and BHP Billiton).
This nexus involves a revolving door of personnel between government,
finance and energy companies and current government-linked advisory
boards. The Cabinet ministers with past or present links to energy or
finance companies include:
Education Secretary Michael Gove received a £10,000 donation
from Tullow Oil in 2010, according to the parliamentary Register
of Interests. This has been reported in the media as an individual
donation from Aidan Heavey, Tullow Oil’s founder and chief
The International Development Secretary, and former Transport
Secretary, Justine Greening, is a former (2002-5) Finance Manager
of Centrica Plc, a job she held immediately before becoming an
MP in 2005. Centrica manages British Gas and works mainly in
Europe and North America.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller, is a
former (1990-5) Marketing Manager of Texaco, a job she held
immediately before becoming an MP in 2005.
Business Secretary Vince Cable was chief economist with Shell
(1995-97) immediately before becoming an MP in 1997. The
Register of Interests states that Cable was paid ‘honoraria’ for
‘participating in scenario planning discussions with Shell's group
planning’ in June 2003. Cable was Trade and Industry spokesman
for the Liberal Democrats from 1999-2003, becoming the Liberal
Democrat shadow Chancellor in 2003.
Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Hill of Oareford, was a Director
of Quiller Consultants during 1998-2010 and presently has
shares in Huntsworth Plc of which group Quiller Consultants is
part. Quiller is a lobby organisation that works on behalf of ‘UK
companies and global corporates’ and financial institutions,
among others, to influence government policy. It is unclear who
Quiller’s clients are, but one is known to be HSBC. Quiller’s
parent company, Huntsworth – a global public relations firm -
counts oil, gas and electricity companies among its clients while
Grayling, which is also part of the Huntsworth Group, has advised
National Grid and Oil & Gas UK.
Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Defence, is a former
(2000-03) Director of, and shareholder in, Consort Resources Ltd,
a company which owns and operates gas exploration and
production assets and pipeline infrastructure in the North Sea.
From July 2000 until October 2003 Consort Resources’ chair and
CEO was Lord Moynihan, another Conservative former minister.
Hammond is also a former (1993-5) partner in, and consultant to
(until at least 2001) CMA Consultants, a company which provides
‘business development advice to a number of clients principally in
the energy industries’, according to the Register of interests.
This nexus also includes some former senior figures in the Conservative
Party, for example:
Baroness (Sarah) Hogg, who was Head of the Prime Minister John
Major’s Policy Unit (1990-95) - is not only currently a Senior
Independent Director of BG Group plc – a company with natural
gas interests in many developing countries – but at the same time
plays a key role in two important government-linked advisory
committees. She is currently chair of the Financial Reporting
Council - the UK’s independent regulator responsible for setting
standards for corporate reporting and actuarial practice - and a
member of the Treasury Board - which ‘shape[s] the vision,
strategy and priorities’ of the Treasury.
Lord Blackwell, who also ran John Major’s Policy Unit (1995-97) is
now a non-executive director of Lloyds Banking Group, which also
has financial links to dirty energy projects.
Baroness Noakes DBE - who served on the Conservative front
bench in various roles including as shadow treasury minister
between 2003 and May 2010 – is now a non-executive Director of
the government-backed bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, which
our analysis shows is involved in two dirty energy projects as a
bond dealer or bookmarker. She has has shares in a number of
Many senior executives from UK finance companies involved in dirty
energy projects play key roles in government-linked advisory boards.
Tidjane Thiam, the Group CEO of Prudential - which is investing in,
or has investments in companies managing, several dirty energy
projects - sits on the Prime Minister’s’ Business Advisory Group,
which ‘provide[s] regular, high level advice to the Prime Minister
on critical business and economic issues facing the country.’
Thiam also sits on other important advisory committees - the
Strategic Advisory Group on UK Trade and Investment and the
UK Takeover Panel.
Philip Remnant, another Board member of Prudential, is also on
the Board of UK Financial Investments Limited, a government
body that manages the government’s investments in RBS and
Lloyds. All three companies have financial links to dirty energy
The Taskforce on Non-bank Lending - established by Business
Secretary Vince Cable in 2011 to ‘to examine... how do we re-
shape the financial landscape to make it serve better the needs of
British businesses’ – is chaired by Tim Breedon (a non-Executive
Director of Barclays and, until June 2012, Group CEO of Legal &
General Group plc) and includes on its eight-member panel
Brian Robertson, the CEO of HSBC Bank Plc. Barclays, Legal &
General and HSBC are all involved in dirty energy projects.
There is also a striking revolving door between the civil service and
finance and energy companies involved in dirty energy projects. For
Sir Steve Robson was Second Permanent Secretary at the
Treasury (retired 2001) and Private Secretary to the Chancellor
and is now a non-executive director of the mining conglomerate,
Baroness (Shriti) Vadera, who was Minister in the Labour
government from 2007 to 2009 (in the Department for
International Development, the Business Department and the
Cabinet Office) is now a Director of BHP Billiton Limited and BHP
Lord Kerr, who was in the UK Diplomatic Service for 36 years and
became Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, is now
a non-executive director of Rio Tinto and a director of Scottish
Power Limited, having been deputy chair of Royal Dutch Shell plc
Curtis Research 'The UK Energy - Finance - Government Nexus'
Taken from here