Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Unethical by default

We know that there are problems in the world, but what if we are driving those problems more than we realise by perpetuating the status quo and failing to make necessary changes?

In the information age it's much easier to be well informed and to discover that our trust in some institutions is being grossly abused. rates HSBC's honesty, ethics etc at 18/100 and Barclays' at a staggering 4/100.

"HSBC holds the record for the largest ever fine levied against a single bank and engages in practices including knowingly laundering money for drug cartels and terrorist groups. HSBC is also one of the world’s biggest investors in illegal deforestation and tar sands extraction."

"Barclays' portfolio shows a complete disregard for the environment, human rights and arms proliferation, giving the bank the lowest possible mark for ethics."

In sharp contrast there are amazing institutions out there that are worthy of our trust and support, e.g. Ecology Building Society (rated 100/100), who only give mortgages where environmental improvements are being made.  Instead of growing irresponsibly they currently have to have a waiting list for people depositing savings (imagine one of the main banks refusing your money because they currently did not have enough projects to make use of it ethically).

We're now subscribed to Ethical Consumer Magazine - a publication that has been running for over 20 years that offers a similar service to Which Magazine, but rates products and services on their ethical and environmental qualities.

We've been very happy customers of Good Energy for several years, so we're trying to make other positive changes including moving our mortgage.


  1. I wonder how Barclays managed to score their 4??? That's a horrifying post, Ian. Do you know where RBS and TSB lie in that table?

  2. It's not great I'm afraid. Banks exist to make (and maximise) their profits - not to ensure that humanity is on the right track for the future.



    You can see Barclays and HSBC's reports here: