There are many of us who try hard to do the right thing. We may buy Fairtrade food, worry about our carbon footprint and recycle our packaging. Yet most of us have not the slightest idea what our money is doing when we aren’t spending it. read more
The social finance sector is discussing constantly how best to measure social impact, but in spite of experimentation with different methodologies, no consensus has yet been reached. Charity Bank has used impact measurement for many years and we are currently refining and embedding our own impact measurement systems. We know that there is no magic formula; in the words of NCVO, “It is impossible for an organisation to measure its impact without being open to some degree of criticism”. read more
The timing of the Occupy London protest, which has coincided with both National Ethical Investment Week and the latest phase of the Greek debt saga, means that money, and the ethics surrounding it, are currently hot topics – both in the media and on the street.
Unsurprisingly, the Guardian has been the most vocal supporter of ethical investment, with an entire “ethical money” section on its website, but there is no doubt that the subject is inching its way further into the mainstream. In the past two weeks, the Financial Times has run a contributed opinion piece on green investing and the Telegraph’s Emma Wall has written an article with the subheading “Ethical investors no longer have to choose between their pocket and their conscience,” completely contradicting the newspaper’s proclamation earlier this year that “ethical investing doesn’t pay.” read more
Our 2011 ‘Different Journeys’ programme is now complete. It was our most ambitious programme of visits to date, taking the public to see 20 of our borrowers during National Ethical Investment Week.
These visits have enabled us to share directly with our customers and the public the difference that money saved and invested in Charity Bank is making to charities, social enterprises and communities across the UK. read more
Are ethical savings really viable? Can you earn a good rate of interest and still save in a way that benefits society and the planet?
If you are expecting to earn 10% on your savings, then the answer is probably no. But then, as dramatically demonstrated by the Icelandic Banking collapse in 2008, excessively high returns may not be sustainable anyway or involve risks you may not be happy to take. read more
Today’s article by Chris Atkins in The Independent illustrates all that is wrong with the traditional investing model used by most of Britain’s High Street Banks. To learn about why RBS is investing in companies that make cluster bombs, which are responsible for killing and maiming thousands of civilians, Chris tried to corner RBS’ chief executive, Stephen Hester, but was denied access to him.
Undeterred, Atkins finally came across a merchant banker at RBS’ headquarters in Bishopsgate and who gave the unapologetic answer to why RBS – as well as Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC – is investing in companies that make these weapons was simple. It all comes down to the fact that makes money. read more
Charity Bank is much more than an Ethical Bank. Sometimes people think that Charity Bank is ‘too good to be true’:
A bank that is a charity?
A bank that publishes details of every loan it makes?
A bank that only invests in charities, social enterprises and community organisations?
And the latest one:
A six-month surplus of £243k all to be reinvested for charitable purposes?