Most of the world's citizens are unaware that when they place money in 'normal banks', they may be supporting things that they totally disagree with – the arms trade, drugs trade, slavery and prostitution, oil prospection and destructive mining operations, plus a long list of other unnecessary activities which are destroying our planet and the lives of the people.
An ethical bank, also known as a social, alternative, civic, or sustainable bank, is a bank concerned with the social and environmental impacts of its investments and loans. The ethical banking movement includes: ethical investment, impact investment, socially responsible investment, corporate social responsibility, and is also related to such movements as the fair trade movement, ethical consumerism and social enterprise. Other areas, such as fair trade, have comprehensive codes and regulations to which all industries that wish to be certified as fair trade must adhere. Ethical banking has not yet developed to this point; because of this it is difficult to create a concrete definition distinguishing exactly what it is that sets an ethical bank apart from conventional banks. Ethical banks are regulated by the same authorities as traditional banks and have to abide by the same rules.
While there are differences between ethical banks, they do share a common set of principles, the most prominent being transparency and social and/or environmental aims of the projects they finance. Ethical banks sometimes work with narrower profit margins than traditional ones, and therefore they may have few offices and operate mostly by phone, Internet, or mail.
¿What can you do?
If you wish to ensure that your savings or profits from your repayment of loan are used in an ethical way, then simply change your account to an ethical bank.
This will guarantee that you are not sponsoring anything that is detrimental to either yourself or our planet.