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Banks and Building Societies: Who is Leading Ethical Finance?

by | May 18, 2021 | Ethical Shopping Blog

The Good Shopping Guide research team have published our updated Ethical Rating Table for the Banks and Building Societies sector, which can be viewed here. The research encompasses a range of ethical issues, such as companies’ responsible investment policies, irresponsible lending and environmental policies (including environmental reports, carbon disclosure and reduction targets and environmental destruction.

Our findings reveal that overall Charity Bank, Ecology Building Society, Monzo, The Co-operative Bank, and Triodos Bank are amongst the highest-rated banks and building societies for ethical policies and business practices. These companies show a strong awareness of their impact on the environment and are committed to investing in socially responsible projects.

We are pleased to see that many companies within the financial sector are making progress towards becoming more ethical and sustainable. Many banks are now moving away from investments in fossil fuels and other projects considered detrimental to the environment. Although several leading banks, including Barclays, First Direct, HSBC, CitiBank and Lloyds Bank, remain near the bottom of our Ethical Rating Table, our research found that some improvements have been made.

Due to the rise in digital banking, many people are now opting for challenger banks, which exist solely in the online space. The majority of these digital banks, including Monzo, Starling Bank, Atom Bank, and thinkmoney, score well within our Ethical Rating Table. However, other challenger banks, such as Revolut, are falling behind their fellow digital competitors. We encourage challenger banks to adhere to the same standards as traditional banks and building societies, by publishing clear environmental reports, responsible investment policies and outlining their corporate social responsibility strategies.

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