Students have long led the way in calling for big companies to clean up their act, notably when the student boycott of Barclays in the 80s led to the bank pulling out of Apartheid South Africa.
It should come as no surprise that students unions are responding to the call to move your money. With twelve unions already with better banks, the NUS and Move Your Money UK are calling for more to move.
This National Ethical Investment, NUS have launched a campaign
to encourage Unions to move their money.
Danielle Grufferty, NUS Vice-President (Society and Citizenship), said:
“Students have a long history of using our power as consumers to put pressure on big companies and bring about an end to unethical practices.
Young people are suffering because of an economic crisis that they did not create and moving our money is a simple way to demand better for banks in the future.
Just as students collectively worked together to boycott Barclays during the Apartheid era, it is vital that our unions are working to practice what we preach and that's why NUS is supporting this campaign.”
Danni Paffard, Campaigner at Move Your Money, said:
"This campaign looks to mobilise the millions of pounds that move through our Students’ Unions each year, and could have a significant impact on both the alternative banking sector and in galvanising the wider student movement.
Students are a key market for the big banks, who draw them in with short term offers in the hope of making serious money out of them in the long term. Statistics show that you're more
likely to get divorced than to move your bank account.
Move Your Money wants to change that, and we are delighted to be working in partnership with NUS to help students and their Unions lead the way.”
Among the Unions which have already moved to a better bank is University of East Anglia Students' Union, with a budget peaking at £2 million each year, who moved from Natwest to the Coop.
Rosie Rawle, Ethical Issues Officer at the University of East Anglia says:
“This decision was made because we believed that we needed to send a message to fossil-fuel investing banks. The RBS group should immediately stop funding carbon-intensive projects and ventures that destroy irreplaceable eco-systems and violate human rights. We as a student union refuse to allow our money to support these practices.