Lately, the finance industry has been patting itself on the back. Despite the rapid approach of the 4 year anniversary of the financial crisis (which cost us £37bn in bailouts), the big banks have been congratulating themselves in style at events such as ‘The Banker Awards’.
So perhaps it’s time to have a little celebration ourselves. Next week is National Ethical Investment Week, reminding us that where we choose to keep our money can have major repercussions for our communities, our economy and our society. Ethical investing is not just for those with investment portfolios - everyone with a bank account can make a difference by moving your money to a better bank.
It could be easy to assume that ethical investment has little to do with you, or is an optional extra for people wanting to award themselves some brownie points. Where you keep your money is, fundamentally, a statement about what sort of financial system you want for the UK: one that fattens bankers’ bonuses while leaching credit from the real economy, or one that supports families, communities and small businesses. When you move your money to a local, mutual or ethical bank, you make a powerful vote for change, and support a growing sector that cares about public good rather than private profit.
Rachel Matthews, who recently moved her money from HSBC to the Cooperative, said:
I had been putting off moving my money, but I finally got around to doing some reserach and found that I could get much the same interest rates and better service with a more ethical bank, so there were no more excuses. I do not want to support a bank that doesn't pay its tax, and uses this money to support arms dealers and oppressive regimes.
Danni Paffard, Move Your Money UK spokesperson, said:
“National Ethical Investment Week is the ideal moment to take positive action for a better banking sector in the UK, and move your money. It should be the first step for anyone who wants to see a more ethical, balanced and fit-for-purpose banking sector.”
If you think this sounds like a good idea, talk to your friends and family too. 6 million people are part of the better banking sector: join them.
To find out where you can move your money to, click here.