Barclays PLC

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A UK-based multinational bank. It has been one of the main financial backers of private prison companies CoreCivic and GEO Group. In 2019, it announced that it would no longer finance private prison companies. As of 2023, CoreCivic's and GEO Group's credit agreements do not publicly disclose the financial institutions involved.

Barclays PLC is a multinational bank headquartered in London. In 2022, the company served 48 million customers across the U.S. and 49 other countries and generated over $31 billion in revenue. As of 2023, it is the eighteenth largest bank in the world based on total assets.

Past Financing of Private Prison Companies

Barclays has been identified as one of several major financiers of private prison and immigrant detention companies, having provided revolving lines of credit, term loans, and bond underwriting services to CoreCivic and GEO Group. While the bank announced in 2019 that it would no longer finance private prison companies, it is unclear, as of 2023, whether it has upheld this commitment.

In 2019, GEO Group entered into an amended credit agreement, set to expire in 2024. This agreement effectively replaced the company's 2014 credit facility of the same amount, consisting of a $900 million revolving line of credit and a $792 million term loan. As part of a syndicate of banks, Barclays served as a lender under the original agreement, contributing an undisclosed amount of money to the deal.

Barclays also served as an underwriter for the following CoreCivic and GEO Group bond offering:

  • April 2013: CoreCivic issued two sets of bonds—one set totaling $325 million, with a maturity date of 2020, and another set totaling $35 million, with a maturity date of 2023. As part of a syndicate of banks, Barclays underwrote both sets of bonds; however, SEC filings do not disclose the proportion of bonds underwritten by the bank.

Discerning the Company's Role in Current Credit Agreements

As of September 2023, Barclays might still be involved in the following bond agreements—arranged prior to the bank's divestment announcement—with CoreCivic and GEO Group:

In August 2022, GEO Group completed an offer to exchange/purchase certain outstanding notes, revolving credit loans, and term loans from certain lenders. As part of this agreement, GEO Group exchanged its outstanding bonds due 2023, 2024, and 2026 for newly issued bonds due 2028. Financial documents filed with the SEC do not disclose whether Barclays is still involved in the aforementioned agreements with the company.

In 2021, Barclays served as the lead underwriter for a $634 million bond sale that would provide financing for GEO Group to build new prisons in Alabama, despite the bank's 2019 announcement. Following public pressure, Barclays pulled out of the deal. The move caused the bond sale to fall apart and forced Alabama lawmakers to consider alternate funding sources for the project, including requesting federal funding from the American Rescue Plan, as was reportedly discussed in a June meeting. In July 2022, Alabama closed a $509 million bond deal—reportedly underwritten by two private financial services firms—to help build two new state prisons.

Economic Activism Highlights
  • In April 2021, Barclays withdrew from its role as the lead underwriter of a $634 million bond sale that would finance prisons in Alabama that would be built and owned by GEO Group.
  • In July 2019, Barclays committed to not enter any new financing agreements with private prisons, joining Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Truist Financial (which, at the time, was known as SunTrust Banks), and other financial institutions that made similar commitments after facing pressure from activists.
Unless specified otherwise, the information in this page is valid as of
11 September 2023