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.
For the majority of us with accounts in high street banks, it’s not that we don’t care; it’s that we don’t know. A survey commissioned by Charity Bank last autumn revealed that 78% of us are not sure what our banks are doing with our money. They are not obliged by law to tell us, and we don’t like to ask. Stories such as the Independent’s last summer, which revealed how UK high street banks are funding the arms industry, make us uncomfortable but unsure what to do. Changing bank accounts is a hassle and it is much easier not to think about it.
The good news is that there are alternatives out there. The Move Your Money UK campaign is supported by a whole range of organisations offering alternative ways in which to grow your money, from the Co-operative Bank to local credit unions. Since the economic crisis, alternative providers have benefited from public distrust of major high-street banks and at Charity Bank this has seen our deposits book doubling in size since 2007, to over £65million today.
While mainstream banks are often focused solely on the principle of profit maximisation, alternative providers implement the triple principle of profit-people-planet. For Charity Bank this means we adhere to three principles that are in short supply with high street banks:
1. Responsibility. We know our customers personally and expect our borrowers to use loans responsibly and only for the greater good
2. Transparency. Unlike many mainstream banks, Charity Bank knows and shares where we lend our savers money.
3. Sustainability. While most mainstream banks are focused on creating short term profit, Charity Bank is focused on creating long term social change. We reinvest our entire surplus for charitable purposes.
So if you are wondering whether to open a new savings account, give some thought to the good that your money could be doing while it’s invested. It will help you to sleep more easily.
Charity Bank is an ethical bank that offer savings accounts and an ethical ISA where customers not only receive a competitive return, but can also be confident that their savings will help Charity Bank lend money to charities and social enterprises. Charity Bank is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (207701) and is a registered charity (1091648). Registered Office: 194 High Street, Tonbridge, Kent. TN9 1BE. Registered in England and Wales (4330018).