It’s the opposite of banking unethically.
An increasing number of astrophysicists now agree that money makes the world go around, while the majority of cardiovascular surgeons have long argued that money can’t buy them love. And while great philosophers in search of the meaning of life feel it’s all about the Benjamins, what’s obvious about money to even us simple types is that it can do good or evil depending on the motives of those spending it. Money can save lives or it can kill people.
Unless your wages are stashed under a mattress (and, specifically, the Mattress of Justice) they’re in a bank being invested in whatever makes the bank the most money. That could be flowers and lollypops. Or it could be the arms trade, industries knackering the environment or loans to foreign governments crushing their people. We’re back to one of those simple choices: invest in horrible things or in things that will help the planet and its people.
Most banks are shit, but there are a few with ethical policies making their intentions clear. In the UK, the Co-operative Bank won’t invest in or offer services to any business, organisation or government that “fails to uphold basic human rights within its sphere of influence”, “manufactures or transfers indiscriminate weapons”, “has links to an oppressive regime” or “advocates discrimination and incitement to hatred.” Going one better, Triodos Bank only gives its cash “to organisations which create real social, environmental and cultural value – charities, social businesses, community projects and environmental initiatives.” Their Impact Investment Fund refuses to invest in “any companies that are harmful to people or the planet.”
Compare that to old school arseholes like JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Barclays and HSBC which are still throwing trillions at fossil fuels, getting rich while dooming us all to climate breakdown. It’s pointless us Butterflying our arses off, righting wrongs wherever we see them, if our money is supporting the bad guys. It’s pointless us giving up meat and dairy and ditching our cars if our savings are funding genocidal polluters.
Let’s switch. If our banks don’t check out we should move to ethical current accounts, savings accounts and investments and tell our former banks why we’re leaving. If ethical banks look after our pennies, our pounds will look after the environment and won’t screw over the world’s poor or fill the world with weapons. Which would be nice.
Make the bad guys go bust
You'll fix the world a little bit
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