The ethical website Blue & Green Tomorrow has issued a guide to sustainable banking, with some searching questions for those banks that claim the moral high ground.
"With the five major banking groups controlling 85 per cent of personal current accounts in the UK, there has to be an alternative," the site says.
Its guide, available free at www.blueandgreentomorrow.com, questions senior figures at Unity Bank, the Co-operative, Triodos, Reliance and Charity Bank.
"People have got angrier and angrier about traditional banks and the traditional banking system," points out George Blunden, chairman of Charity Bank. "They feel alienated and unwanted by their bank, and want to go somewhere different." He hopes to encourage more people to use his bank for their savings. Why should you? Because it says it uses your money to support charities and enterprises that benefit society.
It also — crucially — publishes details of every loan it makes, so you can see your money in action.
The bank was launched a decade ago and has lent £170m to 1,031 organisations since then. It has attracted an average of £18,500 a day since 2002 but hopes that figure will soar as more people realise the benefits of the bank. "There is more than £2,000bn deposited in the UK in savings," says Mr Blunden. "If just 0.01 per cent of that was deposited with us, we could lend £200m to improve lives and communities."
See more at www.charitybank.org