How can I bank ethically in the UK?

Every wonder how banks make money? They make their income from lending out their customer’s money for investments and loans. And right now that money might be invested in environmentally damaging industries like fossil fuels. Major banks like JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Canada, Tokyo-based MUFG, UK-based Barclays, France’s BNP Paribas, the Bank of China, and many more are all known for their support in financing fossil fuel companies. With more than $700bn having been contributed since the Paris climate change agreement.


Now we’re not saying rush over to your local bank and demand all of your money. But it might be worth doing some research into your bank's investments. Because you can always move to an ethical bank or request an ethical portfolio with your current bank/pension/investments.Ethical banking ensures that your money will be invested in socially and morally positive ways, and won't be invested in anything that could result in a negative social and environmental impact.

 

Which brings us on to our list of ethical banks in the UK that are putting money to good use.


Triodos

Established in 1980 in the Netherlands, Triodos has invested more than £6 billion in projects that benefit both people and the planet, from renewable energy, organic farming and social housing through to retail, charities and education. They also publish details of every organisation they finance on their website, so you can see for yourself how your money is delivering positive change for people and the planet.


Ecology Building Society

Ecology doesn't offer a current account, but instead it is the UK’s only dedicated green mortgage provider. With them loaning money to those looking to make green improvements on their home or to build an environmentally friendly house from scratch.


Nationwide

Over the past five years, they’ve invested and unlocked more than £21 million into community and charity support. In addition to this, they don't register on the fossil fuel investment mega-scale.


Monzo 

An app-based bank that prides themselves on transparency and strong customer service.


Starling

An app-based bank that doesn’t take investment from energy companies or lend to companies involved in fossil fuels. They also have a smaller carbon footprint than most being a branchless bank.