Ethical banking offers a wide range of benefits to consumers, such as increased transparency, streamlined business operations, safety, and security. Ethical banks in the UK have a common objective to build stronger communities by establishing and implementing ethical principles. These principles govern the financial operations of a bank.
What does ethical banking mean?
As the name indicates, ethical banking means a bank establishes a set of principles, rules, and regulations to streamline its operations and maintain positive relationships with its clients and community.
Such principles allow banks to invest their money in socially and morally positive ways and not in commodities like tobacco, alcohol, fur, weapons, and other things that could harm society.
Which are the best ethical banks in the UK?
Ethical banks are the need of the hour because they focus on greener, ESG investment policies, pay taxes to the government, and maintain positive relationships with their clients. Thus, the future of ethical banks is bright in the UK. So, what are the best ethical banks in the UK?
1. Triodos Bank
Triodos is one of the most popular ethical banks in the UK. The bank’s vision is to create a positive society and focus on strategies to overcome environmental challenges. It is a certified B Corp that focuses on people, culture, and the environment.
The bank’s official website provides all the details to the public, making it a fully transparent and ethical bank in the UK. The bank has loaned over £8.2 billion into different projects across the UK and Europe. When you open a current account with Triodos, you will pay a fee of no more than £3 per month.
2. Starling Bank
Starling is another popular ethical bank in the UK. It is an app-based bank founded in 2014 and is a privately-owned company that initially offered life catering for business accounts. However, the good news is that Starling offers current accounts now. The bank has over two million customers.
Because it is an app-based bank, it does not have branches in the UK. However, you can visit their offices in London, Dublin, Cardiff, and Southampton. Not only does the branchless factor make the bank ethical, but it also makes them eco-friendly due to a low carbon footprint. The bank uses Amazon AWS servers in London, which is carbon neutral.
In addition, the bank provides loans to people and businesses in the UK and avoids lending loans to fossil-fuel companies. The bank has made substantial efforts to introduce debit cards made of recycled PVC plastic material.
Many people ask the question about Nationwide and their ethical practices, so I thought i’d answer this question:
Is Nationwide an ethical bank?
Yes. Nationwide is an ethical bank. They offer a wide range of current accounts, such as free accounts and Flex Plus, with a monthly fee of £13. Nationwide is one of the most popular high street banks, was founded in 1848, and is one of the oldest banks in the UK.
Besides, Nationwide also offers a wide range of savings accounts, including cash ISAs, fixed interest rate accounts, variable interest rate accounts, business accounts, etc. The bank has recently introduced a smartphone app that allows customers to manage their accounts. Which? research shows that Nationwide was the best bank compared to Barclays, HSBC, Santander 123, Lloyds, and NatWest. Nationwide also ranks very highly for ethics, making it a perfect choice for ethical consumers to streamline and safeguard their finances ethically.
James Banerjee is an Account Director who graduated from the University of Kent in 2014. He works in SEO on clients such as HSBC UK and Nestle and he has a keen interest in personal finances and money-saving advice.