Choosing an ethical business bank account
We reveal which banks are the most ethical providers of current accounts for small businesses, charities and not-for-profit organisations.
- The score-table above compares providers of business current accounts.
- Many banks listed both here and in our consumer savings accounts guide also offer business savings accounts.
- Most banks and one major building society provide business current accounts, and these tend to come with monthly fees and transaction charges.
- Some banks also offer special accounts for charities and not-for-profit community organisations, and you can find details of those below.
- We also look at the issue of ‘de-risking’ which has led to charities and campaign organisations losing access to account.
Making an ethical impact with your business banking
Most banks use your money to make investments. Many banks invest in fossil fuels, weapons or other unethical practices which might contradict your own company ethos such as animal exploitation. There are also question marks around excessive pay at the top, and gender and ethnic minority pay gaps.
But there are others that won't invest in these areas and maybe a better fit for your values and will be less of a reputational risk. With increasing public awareness of banks and their unethical practices, who you bank with may be more of a consideration to your customers than it used to be.
Our ethical rankings for 30 business bank accounts in the score table above include 3 that are solid ethical choices across all categories, 22 that have issues, and 5 that should definitely be avoided. Even some of the better banks have issues, in particular with environmental and climate change policies, transparency and excessive pay, so it is worth looking at their scores in detail.
With a gap between the top scorer on 14.5 and the bottom scorer on 1.5 (out of 20), moving your business or charity account to a more ethical provider is a quick way to have an immediate ethical impact.