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Deposit accounts with ethical banks

After the banking crisis, more consumers are taking a close interest in the actions of their banks. Few of the main High Street banks would emerge from an ethical scrutiny with much credit. There are exceptions though, and there are options for those looking to open deposit accounts with ethical banks.

Pop in the Co-op

The Co-operative Bank (co-operativebank.co.uk) remains committed to the ideals of mutual responsibility that were keystones of the movement in the 19th century. Its ethical policies exclude investment in animal testing, the arms trade, fossil fuel extraction and other contentious issues. Because it does not invest in the stock markets, the Co-operative Bank actually prospered during the credit crisis.

It offers a range of deposit accounts for everyday banking needs, and has plans to expand its facilities into some of its supermarket branches, to make it more attractive to new customers.

Smile (smile.co.uk) is the online subsidiary of the Co-operative Bank, sharing its core values and ethical considerations. They offer a range of current account options as well as savings deposit accounts.

The online bank Triodos (triodos.co.uk) is arguably even more ethical than the Co-operative. It not only refuses to invest in unethical areas, but makes a point of putting its investors' cash into sustainable and progressive industries, like wind energy and organic farming.

Triodos doesn't offer a current account, but does have a range of savings deposit accounts, cash ISAs and bonds, and has some of the most attractive rates of interest on the market.

Online banking makes it easier to be ethical

For many, the lack of easily-accessible branches has made it awkward to put their cash in ethical banks. These days, with more and more of our savings deposit accounts administered online, there is more incentive to look at a bank's ethical record. When they also offer competitive rates of interest, it is apparent that these banks' market share can only grow.

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