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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I switch to a greener bank?

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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I switch to a greener bank?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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MSE_SarahMSE_Sarah MSE Staff
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...
I'm concerned about climate change, and recently found out my savings are with a bank which invests in the fossil fuel industry. Should I pick a more environmentally-friendly bank, even if it means I earn less interest?

Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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Replies

  • NonnadilucaNonnadiluca Forumite
    306 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts
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    Once you know what your money is being used for, you can't unknow it. I moved mine at the beginning of the year when I realised.
  • gsmlnxgsmlnx Forumite
    1.7K posts
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    You should pick a bank on whether it is well ran and will be here in 50 years time. And does it provide the services you require when you require them.
    I always have doubts about organisations that claim something special like Climate awareness or anti tobacco stances (just 2 examples). Take any claim with a big pinch of salt.
    If they avoid some specific areas then where do they lend money out? To drugs cartels or weapons manufacturers? Or oppressive regimes around the world? The list goes on.
    You might just swap to a bank which does worse things with your deposits.
  • Yes - stand by your principles.
    Next!
  • staggeredstaggered Forumite
    323 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
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    I'm sure they're not perfect but, as a rule of thumb, building societies are considered more "ethical" than banks.
  • I agree about Building Societies. For full banking services what about the Co-op? We've been happy since switching and they are definitely ethical - go to the Co-operativebank website and take a look at Values and Ethics under "Who we are "
  • REJPREJP Forumite
    176 posts
    Third Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    I recycle stuff, walk to places if I can, take the bus or train the 10 miles to town if I have to. So if my bank offers me a decent interest rate on my savings, I suggest I have already tried to reduce my carbon footprint by using services which will run if I don't use them.
    How sure are you that your proposed bank is going to reduce climate change? Presumably they use electricity for tills etc, do they have solar panels for daytime use? Do their staff walk to work, or use the car?
    Where is this a dilemma?
  • Thing is, incompetence is never ethical.
  • anotheruseranotheruser Forumite
    2.9K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts I've been Money Tipped! Uniform Washer
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    What's your priority?

    Your care for the environment or a token payment every month?

    When you answer that, you have answered your question.
  • Definitely. Triodos have recently started a UK current account; their ethical credentials are well-nigh impeccable, and they've been running since 1980, so they're an established player.

    Check out Ethical Consumer magazine (and website) for much more info on these sort of questions.
  • SurferSurfer Forumite
    361 posts
    I would invest where I get the best interest rate and not bothered by banks that claim to be green as mostly what they profess to do is a lot of hogwash to con the consumer. For example, I bet the bank manager drives a car that runs on fossil fuel as do most of the staff.
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