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Two thirds of people want to know more about how their bank is using their money

26-10-2010 | Two thirds (66%) of people want to know more about how their bank is using their money according to research* from leading ethical and sustainable bank Triodos Bank.

Nine out of 10 (92%) of those surveyed said they wanted their bank to have principles and proper ethical values and four fifths (79%) thought the way banks had risked their customers’ money prior to the financial crisis was unethical.

The research from Triodos Bank demonstrates the UK’s growing appetite for a different way of banking and illustrates consumer misgivings in the way mainstream banks have been managed following the banking bail-out. Indeed, just over three quarters (78%) thought that if banks had behaved more ethically we might have been able to avoid some of the current economic turmoil.

Huw Davies, head of personal banking at Triodos, commented: “We know from the increasing number of customers choosing to deposit with us that more and more people are beginning to take a more conscious approach to their finances and realise the power of their money for good.

“Recent years have seen a rise in ethical consumerism, from fair trade coffee, to green electricity. Increasingly, and especially since the credit crisis, the public is also asking questions of their banks. How are they run, what do they do with savers’ money, what alternatives are there? Ethical banking and investment offers an alternative, so that customers know their money is not doing harm, while still generating a decent return for them.”

In contrast to more historical perceptions, half (49%) of those surveyed now view ethical banks as a safer bet than mainstream banks, and more than two thirds (68%) think investing in ethical and environmental companies makes good business sense.

Huw continued: “Ethical banking should be more than just avoiding investment in harmful activity. Triodos only lends to organisations actively doing social, cultural, or environmental good. A year ago we set up the website www.knowwhereyourmoneygoes.co.uk so that all savers and investors know all about the businesses we lend to, to know exactly how their money is being used and to know it is only being invested in commercially viable operations. We are the only bank to offer this level of transparency.

“And, the fact that we don’t borrow money from the wholesale markets to make our investments, nor do we pay large executive bonuses, means that our way of banking and investing is more sustainable too.”

Huw concluded: “While some savers and investors will choose to put their money to work by opting for the highest return possible and donating the dividend yield or interest to a chosen charity, others are now questioning the origins of some of these inflated rates and actively choosing a more ethical provider in the first place, so their money has the two-fold positive action of generating a good return as well as not impacting negatively on society and environment. This actively conscious use of money is essential to ensure our future and our planet’s.”


For more information, comment or a case study, please contact:
Lisa Stanley / Will Ferguson
0117 980 9721 / 07983 002013
lisa.stanley@triodos.co.uk / William.ferguson@triodos.co.uk

Editors notes:
* Research conducted by NOP among 998 16+ adults

About Triodos Bank
Triodos Bank only finances enterprises which create social, environmental or cultural added value. Key sectors include organic food and farming, renewable energy, social housing, and fair trade. Transparency is a core value: customers are informed about the bank’s lending and can target their savings to particular areas of investment. A range of personal savings accounts is offered, and full banking services are available for businesses and charities. Triodos Bank is an independent bank founded in the Netherlands in 1980. Its principles and independence are protected through a special shareholding trust. The UK office opened in 1995 and is based in Bristol.

Triodos Bank offers a range of personal savings accounts as well as other investment opportunities. The Triodos Online ISA currently pays 2.0% and the Triodos range of Climate Change Bonds are fixed for two, three or five years and pay 2%, 2.75% and 3.25% respectively. Triodos also offers a range of Charity Saver accounts where 0.25% of the average annual balance is donated to one of a range of charity partners such as Amnesty International, Friends of the Earth, the Fairtrade Foundation and the Soil Association among others.

Triodos also offers investments in Triodos Renewables plc which invests in a range of sustainable energy projects, and the Triodos Microfinance Fund which helps increase access to financial services for the working poor in developing countries by investing in microfinance institutions and banks across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.






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