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Ethical Money_Banks and Building Societies Table

We’re delighted to announce that our much anticipated independent, ethical research on Banks and Building Societies has been published.

This is a major research update, which covers the ethical background of over 29 UK Banks and Building Societies. Issues of Environmental Policy, Human Rights Records, Dodgy Lending and Tax Dodging are but a few key areas of criticism that come into direct focus.

This research update follows recent revelations about how the Swiss arm of HSBC is embroiled in a deep Tax Avoidance scandal. However, it is not only HSBC that is involved in shady tax dealings. In considering our research findings, for example, it is no surprise that ActionAid UK​ has called out Lloyds, Barclays, RBS and HSBC (the ‘Big 4’ high street banks in the UK) as some of the biggest users of tax havens in the FTSE 100.

Our research also follows how six major banks have been fined more than $4bn in the past few months, as regulators punished them for their role in a foreign exchange rate-rigging scandal that once again called into question the integrity of global financial markets. The tally of the fines, agreed in separate settlements with UBS, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of America, is already close to the $6bn paid so far over the long-running Libor rate-rigging probe. Other regulators including the US Department of Justice, which is known for levying heavy fines, are still investigating.

Other key stories surrounding our latest ethical research, includes: Lloyds Bank and cluster bomb company funding; top UK Banks hindering the fight against climate change and investing billions in fossil fuels; as well as involvement in the rendition of terror suspects on behalf of the CIA. Keep an eye out for separate articles on these stories and more, following this publication announcement.

The news isn’t all bad, however. There are a number of ethical alternatives, which, in the current economic context, can help support the transition to a more socially, economically and environmentally just world. Charity Bank – an Ethically Accredited Company – is highly recommended by Ethical Company Organisation. Other top ranking Banks & Building Societies, include: Ecology BS, Triodos Bank, Leeds BS, Newcastle BS, AIB, Brittania BS, Co-op Bank, Coventry BS, Nationwide BS, and Skipton BS.

For a detailed breakdown of our research, please see the Banks & Building Societies section of The Good Shopping Guide.

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