Our research



Our research powers the Move Your Money campaign.

A comprehensive body of work ensures that you have the most reliable, in-depth and up-to-date information possible when choosing where to move your money.



How we rated banks


We rated the banks in 5 broad categories, each with several subcategories:


Category: Honesty


  • Criminal activity and fines
  • Tax havens
  • Political lobbying
  • Misleading advertising



Category: Customer Service


  • Customer complaints
  • Mis-selling
  • Ombudsman
  • Which? customer satisfaction survey



Category: Culture


  • Customer power
  • Excessive directors' remuneration 
  • Bonuses policy
  • Women on the Board



Category: Supporting the Economy


  • Too big to fail
  • Risky behaviour
  • Supports the real economy



Category: Ethical Lending

This category is derived from Ethical Consumer's rankings system as used in our unique product guides.




Each category was rated out of 100 and the average score across all categories formed the final score.  

This score allows you to choose the most ethical banks and building societies.

In an effort to be transparent (unlike the banks) our research is 100% publicly available so that you can scrutinise all of it.

You can download the Move Your Money Ranking and Evidence Base document here (204 page pdf 582kb).

Click on the scorecard table below to see the rankings. 


Table: Scorecard





Choosing an account


Savings accounts and ISAs

All the brands on the table offer saving accounts and ISAs to people living anywhere in the UK.
Both of these products are also available from the local building societies (listed with just their Ethiscore and overall Switch Score) in the table below. They only offer accounts to people in their locality or region, but all score well on most of the Move Your Money criteria.



Current accounts

Only those brands with a tick in the Current Accounts column offer current accounts – so the choice is not as wide. The big news in this area is the move of the Co-op Bank out of the Co-op Group to become a separate entity.


Don’t forget credit unions

Although this research did not stretch to looking at credit unions, they would, in most cases, score 100 in a switch score. All offer savings accounts (often with interest) and some even offer basic current accounts too. To find one in your local area use the www.findyourcreditunion.co.uk website and enter a postcode. The failure of UK credit unions to match the growth of their US equivalents has sometimes been ascribed to their failure to attract middle class (or more financially stable) savers in sufficient number.[2] If you are able to save at least some money in this way then you would arguably be supporting a valuable social institution locally.



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More on Ethical Finance - March 2014

ethical finance special report

See our sector report for more on ethical finance and the banking sector

Special report on Ethical Finance. Financing renewable energy. Pension funds and climate change. Crowdfunding. Listing of ethical investments.

Ethical ratings of banks, building societies, ethical investment funds, ethical pensions.

Read the special report on ethical finance