Five Reasons Why You Should Change to an Ethical Bank

Bad Banks and the Finance institutions that have brought our economy to its knees are not got for us and they are definitely not good for the environment. The World’s banks largely continue to profit from the exploitation of the environment, people and the use of our atmosphere as a cesspit for carbon dioxide. By leaving your money in these institutions you are a climate killer, and doing business with some of the largest and dirtiest firms in the world.

Personally, is Green Banking one of the best ways to reduce your CO2. Ok it is not your CO2 when Oil firms make profits from investing in new fields but indirectly it is your CO2. You have helped them to expand. I worked out how much CO2 my bank has saved since it has started up per Euro (it is a German bank) and then multiplied this by how much I have invested. The result is that I am carbon negative. My CO2 is already quite low because I have no car and do not fly, but it is through banking that I am really making a difference.

Here are 5 Reasons Why the Bank You Choose is Important:

1) If you are in the Red and do not get fees for being in the Red, then stay with the traditional banks. You are also helping by being in the Red. It means you are taking money away from the dirty investments.

2) Worried about bad interest rates. This is generally true but remember the traditional banks are only able to do that because they externalise their pollution. Therefore be altruistic and take the jump.

3) It’s too difficult to move. Not true. Most banks, even Green ones will arrange for all your standing orders and bill payments to be moved over.

4) How do I know they are really green? Read the small print. If they do not explicitly say we only invest in Green energy, organic farming and fairtrade industry then they are not Green. If they are Green it will say quite clearly and plainly that they are. Also be careful that the name does not just have Green written in. Most large providers have green bank accounts but they are still not really Green. They may invest x million in clean energy because it just makes business sense. Then they sell this on to you and me so that people continue to invest in their banks. They probably also give you a poor interest rate because it is a clean investment. It is a bit like carbon offsetting for flights or green energy from the main energy providers. It is Greenwash!

5) Through your money you change habits and business practices. When millions of people start moving their money away from conventional banks and their dirty business partners; then the dirty business partners are forced to clean up their act or not get the money they need.

The Norwegian Government Pension fund, is the fourth largest pension fund in the world ($443 billion). The Norwegians are building a longer and longer list of companies that cannot receive investments from the fund. Mainly from the areas of tobacco, weapons and mining companies due to the damage they incur on the environment during mineral extraction. It is a shame that this fund was built largely from the profits of the oil, but the money is now increasingly being used for good.

Ethical Banks are a different way of funding capitalism. By moving your few pennies you change business behaviour, you know exactly what your money is being used for and you help the planet.

List of Ethical Banks:

  • Triodos Bank, Zeist, The Netherlands (also UK, Belgium, Germany and Spain)
  • Co-operative Bank, United Kingdom
  • Reliance Bank, United Kingdom
  • ShoreBank, USA
  • RSF Social Finance, San Francisco and New York, USA
  • Shared Interest, United Kingdom
  • Wainwright Bank, USA
  • Cultura Bank, Norway
  • GLS bank, Germany
  • JAK members bank, Sweden
  • Alternative Bank, Switzerland
  • Banca Popolare Etica, Italy
  • Crédit Coopératif, France
  • Citizens Bank, Canada
  • Bendigo Bank, Australia
  • Merkur Bank, Denmark
  • La Nef, France
  • Credit Agricole, France

Is your bank there? If it is not then your money is probably driving climate change. Move it today!

5 Responses to “Five Reasons Why You Should Change to an Ethical Bank”

  1. Jimmy says:

    I’d rather bank with any of the big six than a European bank. Switzerland I’d look into.

  2. shaka says:

    what a prick jimmy get back to bed you moron

  3. Julie Courraud says:

    Hi, You should really take off the Crédit Agricole from France. They’re not ethical at all ! They’ve received the green washing price several times (http://www.prix-pinocchio.org/rubrique.php?id_rubrique=7). Other French ethical banks are Crédit Coopératif or La poste (http://jechangedebanque.org/toutes-les-banques-ne-se-valent-pas/).

  4. ms says:

    I find it hard to believe Credit Agricole (France) is an ethical bank. They have been evicting families left and right in Spain since at least 2008. In addition they charge dreadful fees after foreclosure and eviction while continuing to collect on the defaulted loan. They are definitely NOT an ethical bank.

  5. Isabel says:

    Triodos is an ethical bank in Belgium, I don’t see it on the list, but your money goes to environmental and social projects.

Leave a Reply to Isabel