A Guide to Ethical Banking

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So, we’ve talked about the problem with a lot of banks these days, but we kind of left it up in the air as far as what to do about it.

🏦That’s where this post comes in. We are going to go over ways to bank m0re ethically both by voicing our concerns to our banks and instead investing in more ethical and sustainable banks.

It’s important to remember that businesses, including banks, are comprised of of human beings making decisions. This will help to understand that businesses can change and improve, since people can as well.💚

This is why we should always voice our concerns to our current bank 


Banks are in business to make money by providing a service to their customers.👂This puts them (hopefully) in a place where they should want to listen to what their customers want.

🗣Talk to your bank first. Tell them about your concerns regarding the treatment of people and the planet within certain industries. Ask them if they have any policies about this and what industries they currently choose to lend loans to or invest in.🕵️‍♀️

The investments and loans of large banks around the world are usually public information by now. Whether that be banks being outed as investing in fossil fuels or unethical companies, or are actually lending and investing rather responsibly.

If you decide your bank isn’t aligned with your values, tell them


A lot of impact and progress can be lost if we choose to only separate ourselves from businesses and others without having a conversation first. 🤝By talking things through, this gives the bank a chance to help out, to change their ways in the future, and not write off your departure as some other reason.

The truth is, we don’t want certain businesses or banks to go out of business, we are just asking them to change.

But before you close an account, you’ll need to find a bank to switch to!


Much like voting with our dollar, it would save time and energy to use certifications to our advantage.

B corporations 

Look for B corp certified banks in the US or B Lab certified globally. B corp is a certification that sets certain social, ethical, and sustainable requirements on many aspects of the business.

CDFI

Short for Community Development Financial Institutions: this is another US certification that is reliable, should you not find a bank that is suitable under the B corp list.

GABV

Globally, look to the Global Alliance of Banking on Values

“Our collective goal is to change the banking system so that it is more transparent, supports economic, social and environmental sustainability, and is composed of a diverse range of banking institutions serving the real economy.” 

Since financing is a tricky thing to cross borders with, it’s best to find a bank that is sustainable by country. Try searching “ethical or sustainable banks in _____” or maybe use one of the certification directories to find one that works for you. Much like everything else in our everyday environmental changes, our bank has to work for us.


Once you find a bank that works for you, transfer funds over and close the old account.💵 That’s it! Sometimes banks offer services that easily do that process for you.

We hear a lot about passive income when it comes to making money and how it can be so great to make money while doing nothing. 📈Well, think of ethical banking as a passive way to contribute to a more sustainable world.

Whazam! All that’s left is to sleep like a baby knowing your money is sitting in a place that you can stand behind and trust.🛌 A place where your money is being invested in future driven, ethical industries rather than ones that are stuck in the past.

Written by Aaron Burr 

A writer dedicated to working solely with companies on a mission to help the earth and people on it.