Updated: Dec 12, 2018
Money is power ! We have often heard that statement. We use money to fulfil our needs, spend on comforts and may be even indulge in luxuries. So, it is quite right to say that money helps. It does give us the purchasing power to own things. and experience new things. It is viewed to be so powerful that even governments are made to win or lose. It is used to break deadlocks in agreements or deals, push competition out, or even may your way up the ladder. Sometimes money can brings good and blessed changes. A knife can be used to cut vegetables or even kill someone. A knife has no character as such and so is money. However, excess use of money for not so good purposes has given money the bad image it has. Seldom people realize that they can bring changes in the world with the way they choose to spend money.
Lets look at banks. Banks are a storehouse of money. These banks make further investments and give loans to make money out of it which is used to cover their expenses and make profits. They are ways you can choose to ensure that your savings money are used for the benefit of humanity. It must be remembered that banks are a storehouse of money because people bank with them. If people choose to go with ethical banks we can give money the power to do more good in this world.
When we opened Nano Green Trade, we had many suggestions for bank accounts. Some said, HSBC and Barclays are good for business banking services. Some suggested that Santander are the best and most economical for start-ups and so on and so forth. However, we were aware that these banks scored low on ethics and went for Metro Bank.
Over 80% of current accounts are with the below 5 banks. They are -
· HSBC (including First Direct and M&S bank),
· Lloyds (including Halifax and Bank of Scotland),
· RBS (including NatWest and Ulster Bank),
The above five banks are the biggest investors in the fossil fuel industry, with HSBC growing its investment last year and Barclays investing $3.642 billion in 2017. These investments include arctic mining, tar sands, ultra-deep offshore mining and coal-fired power station construction. HSBC and Barclays take this investment one step further by owning shares in fracking companies.
Ø HSBC, Lloyds Bank, RBS and Barclays all lend to companies selling arms to Israel, in turn fuelling a growing humanitarian crisis. HSBC and Barclays own shares in these companies also.
Ø Lloyds Bank made $2,986 million available to nuclear weapon producing companies from January 2014 – October 2017.
Ø RBS has shareholdings in companies who are involved in palm oil deforestation and have serious workers’ and human rights issues.
Ø Santander has over 21 subsidiaries in tax havens pointing to unethical tax avoidance strategies.
Source of above information taken from - https://theecologist.org/2018/may/21/are-you-funding-fracking-and-nuclear-weapon-manufacturing)
Does it make you sit up and think if your savings or business money is being used to fund nuclear weapon companies, fossil fuels and fracking? And if yes, what can we do about it? The good news is that we have good banks which don't fund in fossil fuel companies and nuclear weapons. Some like Tridos Bank take a step further and make ethical and environment friendly investments. We can switch to ethical banks and make sure that our money flows to ethical investments.That’s the power of your money! If you decide to make a switch, call the bank and tell them you are switching because of their unethical investments, and see how you can bring a change in this world.
For ethical banks, please check this website and make choices accordingly.