In light of the numerous recent banking scandals I thought I’d write a post about ethical banking and how easy it is to switch bank accounts. I switched from Barclays to the Co-operative last year, after I learned of Barclays’ paltry amount of corporation tax they paid for 2009  http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/feb/18/barclays-bank-113m-corporation-tax. ‘Barclays Bank has been forced to admit it paid just £113m in UK corporation tax in 2009 – a year when it rang up a record £11.6bn of profits.’

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I then read that Barclays, RBS, Lloyds TSB and HSBC ‘have all provided funding to the makers of cluster bombs, even as international opinion turns against a weapons system that is inherently indiscriminate and routinely maims or kills civilians.’ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-banks-fund-deadly-clusterbomb-industry-2338168.html

Barclays, RBS, Lloyds TSB and HSBC clearly think profits are more important than losing limbs (or your life) because you happened to be a civilian who got in the way. Like the little boy on the right.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want my money being used to kill and maim children.

So I did some research. Frank was already with the Co-operative Bank, which is owned by its members, who are ordinary people like you and me (as opposed to fat-cat bankers whose only priority is lining their pockets). They ensure all investments they make are ethical, they promote  and contribute to community and charitable projects,  and they promote co-operatives as a means of trading, allowing smaller businesses to group together. All profits are shared by the members (i.e. you and me!).

As a bank, they’ve been super. All I did was phone them, after which they sent a document for me to sign which stated that all my standing orders and direct debits could be automatically transferred as well as my balance. I made a few phone calls to get my income paid into the right place, etc.,  and I have not looked back since. I now have a Co-op bank account, insurance and credit card and shop in the local Co-op. When the time comes I will apply for a Co-op mortgage.

Given the latest scandal –

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/11/barclays-bob-diamond-congress?newsfeed=true ‘Washington politicians considering asking former Barclays chief executive to testify as Libor-fixing controversy crosses to US’

– do you want to change banks? Have you considered the Co-op?

http://www.co-operative.coop/

Advertisements