Not many of us think about our pensions or current accounts as powerful tools to make positive change. Likewise, we don’t imagine banks contributing to deforestation. Ironically, our pensions — meant to provide for us in the future — are often invested in fossil fuel industries and other types of companies which undermine a safe and healthy future for all.

Keep in mind that every pound in the bank or in your pension can be leveraged about nine times by the financial institution. So if you think you don’t have enough to make a difference, multiply it by nine and reconsider!

Local issues & actions

The days of going to the bank on the high street are largely behind us, so you are more likely to deal with your banking and pension at home, on your laptop or smartphone. Generally, the large, established banks (Barclays, HSBC, RBS, NatWest, Citibank, Santander, Lloyds, Halifax, TSB, Bank of Scotland) are all stuck in the old paradigm of financing climate change. Some are linked to human rights abuses, tax avoidance, and disproportionate executive pay, which exacerbates the wealth gap.

What you can do

1.Consider switching to Triodos, Ethical Consumer’s top rated bank. It offers current accounts, business accounts, savings, ISAs and crowdfunded investments.

2. Among auto-enrolment pensions, Nest and The People’s Pension top the Ethical Consumer tables.

3. Speak up! When you do switch, let your old bank know why you’re doing so…

4. …and spread the word to everyone you know. Finance is an under-appreciated force in the journey to a more sustainable world.


Ethical Consumer

Ethical Consumer magazine is a fantastic resource on all topics, from finance to fashion, energy to electronics. You can choose if you would like a

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Triodos bank

Ranked as Ethical Consumer’s top bank, Triodos offers personal current accounts, savings, and ISAs; business accounts and loans; charity accounts; and crowdfunded investments.

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