Ethical banks list UK

The words “ethical” and “bank” don’t fit well together because banks are only after profits and ethics normally get in the way of that. Having said that, we’ve managed to compile an ethical banks list for UK customers so you can check out the banks that care.

The Co-op

The Co-operative is an organisation that clearly articulates its ethics policy. It covers a wide range of subjects including human rights, the arms trade and animal welfare. What the bank does with its profits, especially now that its owned by a major American banking chain, isn’t so clear. Surely if they had ethical causes to pursue, they’d put their money where their mouth is.

Reliance Bank

The Reliance Bank was originally known as the Salvation Army Bank. It offers all the usual things you’d expect to find from a current account, including Visa debit cards, online banking, plus a UK-based call centre. There’s a very small amount of in-credit interest, 0.05%, and they use their profits to further the causes of the Salvation Army. Their investments are made within ethical boundaries and their profits help charitable work so this is a firm who do some good with their profits.

Coventry building society

The current account with Coventry pays 1.1% on balances of up to £250,000 for the first year as long as you pay £1,000 in per month. This building society isn’t ethical in the same way that the others on our list are, but as the firm’s owned by its members it makes decisions that are ethically motivated thanks to member voting rights for key issues.


Nationwide are the last on our list. As with Coventry, they’re a building society rather than a bank so the members have a say in how things are done. People are trusting them with their cash right now. Of 1.2 million bank switches last year, 123,000 were to Nationwide.

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