Protesters glued a high street bank shut as part of national action to urge customers to switch their accounts.

Climate change activists Extinction Rebellion (XR) said they superglued the locks at Brighton’s North Street Barclays branch overnight.

The Barclays in South Road, Haywards Heath, was also targeted.

The campaigners said their action is supposed to impact the bank’s business in the short term, but also cause “longer-term damage” to its reputation.

An anonymous activist who took part in the action said: “Barclays is pumping billions into the fossil fuel industry, completely at odds with advice from the International Energy Agency, United Nations and IPCC.

"Barclays is choosing short-term profits over a liveable future and a lot of us are sick of the measly progress they’re making, as they hide behind their lies and greenwash.”

Another XR activist added: “We’re responding to public attitudes and targeting the perpetrators of climate breakdown, not ordinary people and we apologise for any inconvenience caused to staff and customers. The inconvenience we’ve caused this morning is small in comparison to the catastrophic events already happening due to Barclays’ financing of fossil fuels.”

The Argus: Protesters superglued the locks of Barclays branches across the countryXR said it has consistently held Barclays to account and is urging the bank to “take heed of its demands” including updating its annual climate strategy for 2024 and committing to end the funding of fossil fuel projects.

Asked about the action, which is said to have affected around 50 branches, a Barclays spokeswoman said: “Aligned to our ambition to be a net zero bank by 2050, we believe we can make the greatest difference by working with our clients as they transition to a low-carbon business model, reducing their carbon-intensive activity whilst scaling low-carbon technologies, infrastructure and capacity.

“We have set 2030 targets to reduce the emissions we finance in five high emitting sectors, including the Energy sector, where we have achieved a 32 per cent reduction since 2020. In addition, to scale the needed technologies and infrastructure, we have provided £99bn of green finance since 2018, and have a target to facilitate $1 trillion in Sustainable and Transition financing between 2023 and 2030.”

The Argus contacted Sussex Police for comment, but the incident had not been reported to the force.