Occupy London Group Plans British Bankers Association Protest

The Occupy London movement, which has encamped in the capital for six months, will stage a protest at the British Bankers Association’s headquarters next month.

The demonstration at the Old Broad Street offices in the financial district will be held on May 15, Occupy spokesman Ryan Hickey said in a telephone interview.

“Lobbying represents a bigger problem in society where money and private interest influence politicians more than common people do,” Hickey said. “I would ultimately like to start a conversation around the BBA and the power of corporate lobbyists.”

The Occupy movement began in New York in September and spread to Europe, Asia and Australia in opposition to bank bailouts, austerity measures and corporate profits. As Britain’s coalition government oversees public-spending cuts, the U.K. last quarter fell into its first double-dip recession since the 1970s.

“The BBA is active on social media and is therefore well aware of the event,” said Brian Mairs, a spokesman for the London-based BBA. “If there’s a forum to have a sensible discussion, we would be happy to have it.”

Angela Knight will step down after five years as chief executive officer of the BBA, the group said earlier this month. Knight became a figurehead for the industry as the state took control of Northern Rock Plc and bailed out Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc during the financial crisis of 2008.

The protesters’ first camp at St Paul’s Cathedral led to Christopher Wren’s 17th century masterpiece closing in October. Ten days later its dean, Graeme Knowles, said he would resign, following criticism over the church’s handling of protesters camped outside.

-- Editors: Jon Menon, Stephen Taylor