As more and more Australians tire of certain businesses’ behaviour and seek ethical alternatives to everyday goods and services, it’s relieving to see an Australian business being recognised by the Ethisphere Institute for their outstanding ethical practices.
This list was an eye-opener for many of us as only one Australian business was listed, a bank at that, and one of only a handful of banks to be recognised globally. The low number of banks that made it onto the list got us thinking about how important it is to “put your money where your mouth is” and what alternatives Australians have in ethical banking. We’ve created a list of local financial institutions and products that you can really bank on.
Teachers Mutual Bank
With a focus on their customers and the larger community, Teachers Mutual Bank has a carbon-neutral operation and fossil fuel-free investments. For the sixth consecutive year, Teachers Mutual Bank was recognised by the Ethisphere Institute in an annually comprised list of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies.” Teachers Mutual Bank puts being ethical and sustainable at the forefront of their business model and offers a huge range of products for you to explore.
BankFirst – Green Personal Loan & Police Bank – Green Loan
“Green Loans” are personal loans designed to assist those in borrowing for environmentally friendly or “green” purposes. This can be anything like investing in renewable energy for your home or even a green car. BankFirst offers a 9.35% interest rate with a $150 application fee, and no ongoing service fee with the availability to redraw. The Police Bank Green Loan offers a very low 6.49% interest rate with a $98 application fee. It also boasts a no ongoing service fee, however, it does not offer redraws.
Bank Australia joined together 72 credit unions and co-operatives to become Australia’s first customer-owned bank. In their own words, their purpose is “to create mutual prosperity for our customers in the form of positive economic, personal, social, environmental and cultural impact.”
Bank Australian prides itself on “clean money” which essentially means it doesn’t lend money to industries that do harm such as; coal, weapons, gambling, live animal export and many more. Becoming a customer of Bank Australia makes you a part-owner of a Conservation Reserve, which spans over 927 hectares. They offer a wide range of financial products and it might be worthwhile finding one of their products that fit your needs.
Bendigo Bank – Community Saver Account
The Community Saver Account allows you to support a local initiative of your choosing while you grow your savings. A minimum of 10% of your interest will be donated to your nominated orginisation. Some of the organisations you can choose to have your investments go to include; Scouts Australia – Victoria Branch, St Johns Ambulance – South Australia, Oxfam Australian or Emergency Services such as CFA Victoria, SES Victoria, and Tasmania Fire Service. As Australia’s 5th largest retail bank it’s good to know they’re trying to do good with our money.
UBank – Green Term Deposit
In light of recent events, we know that Australians have placed high importance on climate-friendly practices. The UBank Green Term Deposit matches your balance and invests it in climate-friendly initiatives. That means that an equivalent to the funds in your account will be invested in projects like wind and solar energy as well as low carbon options in industries such as transport and infrastructure.
Community First Credit Union – McGrath Pink Visa
This credit card comes with up to 55 interest-free days, a low purchase rate of 8.99% and an equally as low annual fee of $40, half of which is donated to the McGrath Foundation. The McGrath Foundation provides specialised nurses to women with breast cancer Australia-wide. Each year you hold the card, the Community First Credit Union will donate half of your annual fee to the foundation to support women in need nationally.