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  • Writer's pictureDan Sherrard-Smith

How Ethical Are Your Savings?

That's the question the Times asked when it comes to our current accounts, ISAs and much more.

It's a question MotherTree has taken over 2 years to answer. Making sure the data is available so you get transparency on your savings.

Here's how it works:

  1. You deposit money in a savings account (or current account)

  2. That money gives the bank more assets

  3. Based on the bank's position, they lend out money (sometimes referred to as balancing the books)

Now, not all banks are lending that money to the same places.

Far from it.

£12,500 – the average savings pot in the UK – deposited with Barclays contributes 2.97 tonnes of carbon per year.

That’s like flying to Rome and back 14 times.

But the same amount saved with Nationwide Building Society contributes just 0.54 tonnes of carbon.

That's why we published the Carbon Bank League Table, to give you transparency on the activities of your bank.

The impact goes further. We've uncovered that the leading UK banks - such as Barclays, HSBC and Natwest - are putting money into what's known as "sin stocks", such as weapons manufacture and tobacco.

Is a bank considered ethical if it invests in oil and gas companies?

Of course, it comes down to personal choice.

But switching bank has never been easier. Especially if the bank is signed up to the Current Account Switch Service.

As with any other savings account, it is vital to check that the provider is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which would reimburse you up to £85,000 if the institution were to collapse.


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