When investors keep money in a savings or checkings account, the money does not stay in the bank, waiting to be withdrawn. Instead, banks use the deposited money to provide loans and financing.
In 2018, JP Morgan Chase provided $64 billion of fossil fuel financing. Wells Fargo provided $61 billion. Find data here about fossil fuel financing provided by your bank.
Mighty Deposits allows you to search for you bank name and view how it scores on various impact issues.
Sustainable Bank Options
One way to bank more ethically is to join a credit union. Credit unions, unlike traditional banks, are non-profits, community focused, and member-owned. Members get to vote on the board of directors. Credit unions are therefore focused on their members, not on profits.
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are a second ethical banking option. The CDFI Certification designation is given by the CDFI Fund to specialized organizations that provide financial services in low-income communities and to people who lack access to financing. CDFIs include regulated institutions such as community development banks and credit unions. The CDFI Fund is an agency of the US Dept of Treasury and was created in 1994. Download a list of CDFIs in your area.
A third ethical banking option is to join a Certified B Corporation bank. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. The list of Certified B Corporation banks can be found in the table below.
Certified B Corporation Banks
|Amalgamated Bank||New York, Washington, D.C.|
|Beneficial State Bank||California, Oregon, Washington|
|Brattleboro Savings & Loan||Vermont|
|City First Bank of DC||Washington, D.C.|
|Mascoma Savings Bank||New Hampshire, Vermont|
|Piscataqua Savings Bank||New Hampshire|
|Southern Bancorp||Arkansas, Mississippi|
|Spring Bank||New York|
|Virginia Community Capital||Virginia|
Mighty Deposits offers a list of banks “certified with a cause” including e.g. sustainability, community, African American equity, and women’s equity.
Photo by Senior Living