Ethical Banking & Current Accounts
Ethical banking means using a bank that:
- doesn't invest your money in things like fossil fuels, weapons, gambling, tobacco and other unethical industries
- does invest your money in positive areas, such as renewable energy
Choosing an ethical bank is one of the simplest and most ethically productive things you can do.
In this guide we scored banks against our core ratings on climate and the environment, and on financial issues such as director pay and tax avoidance. But banks aren’t like the companies we normally rate.
They don’t make things that we can eat or wear and don't have the corresponding supply chains. That means we can’t score them directly for things like workers’ rights or palm oil sourcing. However, banks have a massive impact on the world through their loans and investments.
It's their choices about where they put their money that largely determine how ethical they are. We looked at the kinds of activities they’re funding and the ethical policies they have in place to prevent the financing of harmful practices.
Banks offering current accounts
The current account market is dominated by seven banks and building societies: Barclays, Lloyds, Halifax, Santander, NatWest, Nationwide, and HSBC. Between them they account for four out of five main current accounts in the UK.
Barclays is the most popular provider with 16% of main accounts and 12% of second accounts. Lloyds Bank and Halifax are both owned by Lloyds Group and together take 24% of the main account market.
The remainder of the market is shared between around 20 providers who are very small by comparison. These include foreign banks, such as new entrant Chase, building societies, digital disruptor banks and also the Post Office.
We only recommend 4 of the 31 current accounts in the scoretable above.