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British savers just said they want more than money from their deposits

Two-thirds of British savers want their cash ISAs to tackle some of the biggest issues the UK faces today, like the housing crisis and climate change.

New research, released today by Triodos Bank, reveals that personal values are driving even the most rational of decisions-saving for the future.

In recent years, the spotlight has been increasingly on how the financial system funds things that are bad for society. From the fossil fuel divestment campaign to the recent Dakota Access Pipeline protests, people want their money, and their bank, to avoid naughty behaviour.

And it's not just about avoiding the negative-savers are increasingly seeking the positive. People would rather their savings have a positive impact by being used to help organisations that match their values. Over half would switch savings providers to make it happen.

2017 ISA Reseach Family

"I bank with Triodos because it's important to me that my money is used in a way that I understand and that I believe in some small way is improving our world." Sian Herschel, when seeing the impact of her savings at Age Exchange in London.

Yet 70 percent of those surveyed said that they currently have no idea where their bank lends their money.

"Many people feel they are being kept in the dark about how their money is being used by their bank," says Huw Davies, head of retail banking at Triodos. "They want their money to grow. But they also want to feel proud that they are helping organisations that are making a positive difference to people and the planet."

This is why Triodos Bank only lends to organisations that have a positive social or environmental impact. It also publishes online exactly where savers money is being used, so they can be assured that resources are being directed to the right places.

When asked what sectors British savers want their savings to support, almost half said renewable energy. Energy efficiency, social housing and community groups also topped the list.


ISA Sectors to support

"Our mission is to make money work for positive social and environmental change," says Huw. 

"We provide customers with a clear link between their savings and the positive difference that they make by lending to organisations that are addressing some of the biggest issues we face today."

One of the organisations receiving Triodos Funding is Age Exchange in London, a successful social enterprise that reduces loneliness and isolation for the elderly through reminiscence-based arts projects, exhibitions and education work.

"Without Triodos we would not be in a position to serve 152,000 people, and working in many care homes and supporting carers groups, running training around the UK and developing international work," says David Saville, the artistic director at Age Exchange. "They are genuinely interested in their work and the support we have had financially. Triodos is a bank that really and genuinely cares and has helped us to grow."

Cash ISAs currently dominate around 80% of the ISA market.  With more than £80 billion saved in ISAs last year alone, there is a potential for savings to make a significant difference if people made a choice to save with a provider committed to positive impact.