Bank customers keen to be greenMore favour ethical investment

06 June 2007

 

Twenty pound note and coins

If you're not getting the most from your account provider, you should take your business elsewhere

Four in ten Which? members would be willing to accept lower interest if their bank invested ethically, according to a new Which? Money survey.

A further 5 per cent of the 1,591 members surveyed said ethical investments were the most important factor when choosing a bank.

The survey also found a gender divide – 47 per cent of women would accept a lower return if their bank invested ethically, compared to just 36 per cent of men. Over half of the men surveyed always choose financial products with the best interest rates.

Banking ethically can sometimes mean receiving a lower interest rate, but this isn't always the case – Smile, the online arm of the Co-operative Bank offers a current account which is a Which? Best Buy.

Ethical banking

However, people taking out charity credit cards should take care to check the amount that the charity receives.

The American Express Red card gives £1 for every £100 spent to support the Global Fund Aids charity, but after an initial £20 donation the MBNA Childline card gives only 15p for every £100 spent.

Which? Money Editor Martyn Hocking said: ‘A significant number of people seem to be willing to accept lower returns on their money for banking ethically, but you don't have to make a straight choice between ethics and value, as banks such as Smile offer the best of both worlds.

‘If you want your bank to have an ethical lending policy, then write to them and say so – or switch to a bank that does have one.’

Which? Money

The full ‘How green is your bank?’ article appears in the June issue of Which? Money magazine.

The article includes the results of the survey, case studies, tips for people wanting to bank ethically, and an outline of the ‘mid-green’ (ethical by exclusion) and ‘dark green’ (actively ethical) banking options available.

Which? Money is published monthly and is available by subscription only.  A special trial offer of 2 issues for £2 is available by calling 0800 0321 177.