banks at canary wharf

Ethical banks – is this the future of banking?

Ethical banking is a growing trend, with consumers taking more of an interest in banks that make ‘ethical’ investments and fund social and community-focused projects and organisations. We take a closer look at ethical banking and identify some of the most ethical banks around…

Ever since the financial crash of 2008, banks have been seen as ‘part of the problem’ in terms of the economy and the growing levels of inequality in society.

However, in response to this a new breed of bank has emerged – one that doesn’t just have ‘profit at all costs’ as their only objective. These ethical banks are making it their mission to provide social and environmental benefits by being more selective with what projects, organisations and companies they give loans and finance to.

The financial crash showed us all too well that an excessive focus on profits above all else can often lead to consumers being low down on the list of priorities, with big banks financing things like pollution-causing fossil fuel projects and weapons companies – all the while helping to cause financial bubbles.

Ethical banking has shown that there can be other approaches to capitalism – whether that’s by adopting an ethical lending policy that focuses on lending to companies and projects that aim to make a positive impact (e.g. not lending to any socially or environmentally detrimental projects).

Moving your savings over to one of these ethical banks means you can be sure that your money is being used to make a positive impact on the world while making you healthy interest returns.

Most ethical banks

Below we’ve identified some of the best choices for ethical banks in the UK…

Tridos Bank

Tridos Bank promise a ‘fresh approach’ in banking which, in their words, aims to be a “powerful force for good, serving individuals and communities and contributing to a more sustainable society.”

Tridos only lend to organisations that are capable of making a positive social, environmental or cultural impact.

As well as ISAs and savings accounts, Tridos has just unveiled a new ethical current account which you can register for here: https://www.triodos.co.uk/en/personal/current-account-registration/

Benefits of Tridos current account:

  • Fully transparent and ethical investing – you can see that your money is being spent on ethical investments
  • There’s an overdraft of up to £2,000 with a relatively low rate of 18% EAR (subject to credit checks and affordability) available

Any downsides?

  • The account costs £3 a month (£36 a year) and offers no interest on in-credit balances
  • The account is online-only – no high street branches
  • There is no switching incentive or subsequent rewards scheme

Find out more about Tridos Bank:

 

Charity Bank

Charity Bank uses its customers’ money to lend only to registered charities and social enterprises.

Since 2002 Charity Bank has provided loans of more than £250 million to charities to help make a difference to more than one million people in the UK.

They offer an Ethical ISA which promises to make your money a “powerful force for good”.

Ethical ISA:

  • Available to individuals aged 16 years or over, resident in the UK and only liable to pay tax in the UK
  • 0.90% Gross/AER*
  • 33-day notice period
  • Transfers in allowed (applications made online only)

Learn more: https://charitybank.org/ethical-isa