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Would you choose your bank again?

Put your money where your values are, urges Triodos Bank

24-02-2014 | Britain is undergoing a shift in values when it comes to choosing who they are banking with, placing more importance on ethics and integrity, according to research from leading ethical bank Triodos Bank*.


"Over a third of UK savers have no idea what their bank does with their money once deposited into the bank."

The top factors which would influence Britons' choice of bank  now, compared to when they joined their existing bank, are that the bank does not pay big banker bonuses (77%), offers good interest rates (62%), and acts with honesty and integrity (58%). In addition, almost half of Brits (49%) said a bank's ethical practice would be more important to them now than when they first opened their bank account.

Savers in the dark but with strong views

Triodos Bank's research also revealed just over a third of savers (35%) in the UK have no idea what their bank does with their money once deposited into the bank. Yet, over a third (38%) of people would like to know what their money is being used for, with 74% of savers who are concerned about how banks use their money even saying that if they knew their bank was using their deposits to fund contentious sectors, they would vote with their feet and would consider switching providers.

The research suggests that banks are failing to keep their customers informed in this area, with 60% of savers say they have received little or no information regarding what their bank does with their savings.

Which of the following activities would cause you concern if your bank was using your money in that way?
1 Human trafficking (75%)
2 Forced/ child labour (73%)
3 Pornography (59%)
4 Exploitative consumer goods production (ie sweatshops) (57%)
5 Repressive government schemes (56%)
6 Weapons (55%)
7 Animal testing (50%)
8 Intensive animal farming (43%)
9 Tobacco (37%)
10 Unsecured lending (ie credit cards, etc) (27%)

Huw Davies, head of personal banking at Triodos Bank comments: "Our research is a clear call from consumers to the financial services sector to make more fundamental changes, and do so more quickly, if they are serious about getting back in touch with society and regaining consumer trust. There is a definite message here that the public wants a shift in what banks do and how they do it, which requires a deep-seated change in culture and values.

"We talk a lot about the need for new and different banks in the UK; this is important, but less so than the need for new bankers who are motivated not only by personal wealth, but by serving society and doing the right thing.

"With the end of the tax year coming closer, now is a key time for many savers to look at their savings and investments and to make changes where needed. At Triodos Bank, our savers will always know exactly how we are using their money, and that it is only financing organisations delivering a positive environmental, social or cultural impact. Saving in a Triodos Bank ISA not only means you get a decent financial return, but also peace of mind that the money you are saving is making a positive difference to people, society, and the environment."

Customers can see exactly how their money is being used, as Triodos publishes details of every organisation it lends money to on its website. These include financing the solar PV installation at organic dairy company Yeo Valley's headquarters, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage, green power company Ecotricity and more than 1,000 other sustainable enterprises. Triodos Bank is the UK's only commercial bank to publish this information for all its customers.

Triodos Bank offers a range of savings accounts, including a choice of cash ISAs and a Junior ISA. It recently launched a stocks and shares ISA, enabling investment in socially and environmentally responsible stock market listed companies.

For more information and to see the full range of ethical ISAs by Triodos Bank, visit www.triodos.co.uk/isa

- Ends-

Notes to editors:
*Opinium Research conducted research on behalf of Triodos Bank between 2004 Nationally Representative UK adults aged 18+, 5th to 7th February 2014. Of those, 1,437 have cash based savings.

For further information, please contact:
Jemma Green/ Anna Schirmer/ Tom Pavey-Smith
Lansons Communications
020 7294 3642 / 020 7294 3605

About Triodos Bank

The 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.

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 first UK office opened in 1995. Offices are located in Bristol, London and Edinburgh.

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