The Inevitable Rise of Ethical Banking
“ Only when the tide rolls out do you discover who’s been swimming naked”. Warren Buffet
This time it’s taken a royal commission and even the impending financial fallout from the devastating fires for us to look at the banking sector to question what sustainability measures are in place to protect our economy and our environment from the impact of the long standing business practices in the sector.
A few banks have been quietly leading the way for years, without the marketing budgets of some, to support sustainable community and individual customer projects that are good for the globe. And so as some are named and shamed in front of the media and courts of law, investors and everyday Australians have begun to appreciate and seek out the sure and steady, ready to lead the race.
Bank Australia started as the CSIRO Co-operative Credit Society, so it may be no surprise that they became 100% carbon neutral back in 2011 and in 2019 became the first bank in Australia to successfully switch to 100% renewable energy. Their market recognition has increased significantly over recent years in part due to their association with projects such as Sustainable House Day.
As a result of their achievements and aligned core values, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has just announced it has provided $60m in funding for an inaugural Green Home Loan. The initiative has enabled Bank Australia to bring forward a project to reward customers building to a minimum NatHERS 7-star energy rating, enabling qualifying customers to receive a 0.4% discount for 5 years. With already highly competitive rates on offer, borrowers will be able to access 3 year fixed terms for as low as 2.44%*. No longer does doing good, potentially cost a little more.
”Green” borrowers can access loans as low as 2.44%* pa”
*Comparison rate 3.48%
Another bank we admire and use personally is Adelaide-based Beyond Bank. They are the first and only Australian Bank to join the global B-Corporation movement, which focuses whole of business strategy and measurement on balancing purpose and profit. Other local, well known businesses that are part of the movement are Patagonia, Bell-Roy and fellow Beyond Bank clients, Cherished Pets.
And finally, worth a mention is the advocacy work as that the Industry Super Fund sector, owners of ME Bank, have been doing to place pressure on corporate Australia as one of the most influential group of investors in this country.
To understand more about these and other lesser known banks, and whether a move is worthwhile based on your circumstances, feel free to get in touch.
For more tips & advice, contact Lanie Conquest or Nicola Tucker at Surf Coast Finance
With over 40 years combined banking & financial services experience, they help local families & businesses make smart financing decisions.
Ph: 03 5264 7702