The banking system in the UK accounts for £5tn (FIVE TRILLION POUNDS!!). You can’t talk about impactful money and not think about what these banks are really doing with our cash.
I’m sure you will be familiar with the concept that banks don’t hold onto our money. They lend it out to people and businesses and in exchange pay you a (painfully small at the moment) interest rate on that.
This is a cornerstone of the economy and gives a lifeline to support companies and entire industries.
Unsurprisingly, banks prioritise potential to make money over the ethical impact of their actions. All of the major banks have been tied up in accusations over unethical activity, from mis-selling, to money laundering, to providing financial lifelines to businesses that are actually destroying our planet. For example, since 2015, banks have invested $1.9tn into fossil fuel producers!
Take your cash and store it under the bed.. JOKING!
The great news is there is a fast growing sector of ethical and more-ethical-than-others banks. These are banks that put environmental, social and governance considerations (good behaviour) up there with making money.
Triodos Bank is paving the way in ethical banking, providing customers full transparency on who they are lending to. They also have very competitive interest rates, with their Regular Saver account offering 1.25%!
Other banks like TSB and Co-Operative Bank in the “better than others” camp. TSB fund small local businesses in the UK, and the Co-Operative Bank is the only High Street bank with an ethical policy.
Before you make any big lifestyle changes, like going vegan or cutting out flying, why not start with a small change to where you keep your cash.
Do your bit to make the £5tn banking sector a force for good!