Sunday, 18 December 2016

Ethical banking in Spain (Part 1) - Choices

As we continue our journey of being mindful and aware of our actions, the first place we should start is where we keep our money. We live in the material world so our financial choices matter. We may never see how this money is moved and this is part of the problem which feels very abstract. However, there's a big difference between Santander or ethical banks such as Triodos.

When we decide what is ethical, we should be focusing on the business decisions the company makes which carries environmental or social impacts. For example,  based on an UK report this bank which operates in Spain invests £3.5 billion into oil and gas.



We should then be considering their internal practices - racial or sexual discrimination, salaries, working hours and so forth.

These ethical banks face a tougher challenge to stay in business, competing with regular banks. Their policies and lower customer base means they often struggle. It is crucial we all join in and support them

Question is, why would you keep your account open and your money in non-ethical banks given a clear choice of ethical banks? Is it the time it takes for you to switch? Are you worried you will lose all your money if there's another global crisis? In the future articles we will attempt to answer both of these questions by applying for bank accounts and working out the time it will take to switch from my existing bank account provider to Triodos and Coop57 AND compare any government guarantees in case of another financial crisis.

These are the current known ethical banks in Spain:



For a list of Ethical banks in Europe as per WikiPedia article, click here and if you have any experience in Ethical banks within Spain, do let me know.

One final thing. I'm running a BuyCott campaign to add Ethical banks to the list. Please support the campaign to grow the list.

Link to the BuyCott campaign:
https://www.buycott.com/campaign/1524/join-ethical-banks-and-divest-from-fossil-fuels


Thanks for reading!
Matija