The female activists from the Extinction Rebellion group used hammers to break the windows and pasted stickers on them before sitting down to wait for the police to arrest them, a Reuters reporter at the scene said.
“Despite HSBC’s pledge to shrink its carbon footprint to net zero by 2050, their current climate plan still allows the bank to finance coal power, and provides no basis to turn away clients or cancel contracts based on links to the fossil fuel industry,” Extinction Rebellion said.
A spokesman for HSBC declined immediate comment.
Extinction Rebellion wants to prompt a wider revolt against the political, economic and social structures of the modern world to avert the worst scenarios of devastation outlined by scientists studying climate change.
The group, which brought parts of London to a standstill in 2019, broke windows at the headquarters of Barclays two weeks ago as it focuses on the finance sector.
“It’s time to stand up and be counted,” said Gully Bujak, 28, from Extinction Rebellion. “Doing this today may land us in prison but we’re on the right side of history.”
The activists referenced the struggle of the Suffragettes who used direct action to fight for votes for women in the early 20th Century.