Put your money where your morals are
With Spring well and truly here, April marks the start of the new financial year. Many savvy savers are shopping around for the best deals banks have to offer on interest rates and savings accounts; whilst others are looking around for the most beneficial way to pile up the pennies through investing.
Meanwhile there are plenty of us that have never gotten around to saving because the paycheque-to-paycheque grind is difficult enough... but even so, what about your current account?
There are various ways to manage your money and we are by no means financial experts, but what we here at Klooker aim to do is to shed a little light on the more ethical options that are available so that you can rest easy knowing your hard earned money isn't financing environmental destruction or climate change.
One thing that has become apparent over the last decade is that banks and bankers can be somewhat... untrustworthy. Putting the 2008 "credit crunch" aside, banks have had to pay the price for multiple unethical and unsustainable practices including HSBC's part played in a money laundering scandal involving drug cartels from Mexico and Colombia.
But it's not just scandals abroad, in 2017 activists and environmentalists went to war with Barclays over the intentions to begin fracking in some of the most picturesque landscapes Great Britain has to offer. Barlcays-owned 'Third Energy' intended to "frack" in Yorkshire's countryside which attracted fierce opposition and various petitions such as this one due to the environmental and health impacts of fracking.
The good news is you won't have to resort to keeping your money tucked under your mattress to sleep easy at night. Below are just a few options to help use your change to make a difference.
Based in the Netherlands with branches in the UK, Triodos bank "only lend to and invest in organisations that benefit people and environment"
They offer Ethical current accounts, savings accounts, ISAs (1.75%) and investments to help you to
"make your money count"
Transparency in funding ethical projects
You can browse the projects that have benefitted from Triodos lending from a range of areas including:
Triodos have also launched a crowdfunding platform where you can "invest directly in pioneering organisations delivering positive change" across areas of Renewable Energy, Organics and Communities
As well as contributing to a range of beneficial causes, Triodos also will not lend to "any organisation that puts profit before people and planet". Their approach to lending outlines the organisations they will not lend to including those involved in non-sustainable products, services or working practices:
- businesses involved in producing or trading in weapons, tobacco, pornography, fur or environmentally hazardous substances
- the gambling industry
- involvement in animal testing and inhumane farming methods
- corruption and support for dictatorial regimes
- breaches of fundamental labour rights
If this sounds like your kind of bank, you can switch to Triodos and 'Become a Changemaker'
Charity Bank is a "savings and loans bank with a mission to use money for good"
A bank for good, Charity Bank lend to charities, social enterprises and organisations where the money will be used for a social purpose. Projects that have benefitted include:
Charity Bank offer ethical savings accounts for individuals (up to 1.4%), businesses, charities and credit unions. By saving with Charity Bank, "your savings become part of a social mission. They might be used to build affordable homes, launch renewable energy projects or to foster peace among young people in divided communities."
Ecology are a building society support and promote "ecological building practices and sustainable communities"
Dedicated to building a greener society, Ecology "puts people and planet before profit" by providing mortgages for properties and projects that "respect the environment and support sustainable communities"
These mortgages are funded through a "range of simple, transparent savings accounts" such as their Regular Savings account (1.5%)
By choosing to save your money with Ecology Building Society, "you know your money is being used to help build a more sustainable future"
Finally, while we love Ecology Building Society in particular, Building Societies in general are not driven by shareholder interests, so they are able to focus on the customer - you. Here is a list of Building Societies across the UK that may offer an ethical alternative to the 'big banks' and there is more than likely one local to you.
You can put your money where your morals are, and invest not only in your own future but the future of our world.
(Disclaimer: the content provided in this article is for information purposes only. Klooker are not financial professionals and cannot be held responsible for any loss incurred as a result of utilising information on this article)