THE MAJORITY of people do not know how the money in their bank accounts is being used or invested, according to research commissioned by a Tonbridge based bank.
Run solely from Fosse House in the High Street, The Charity Bank is an ‘ethical savings and loan bank’ which lends exclusively to organisations with a ‘social purpose’. Since 2002, it has provided over £170million to charities and projects nationwide.
The bank independently commissioned a survey of more than 2,000 adults nationwide, which found that 74 per cent of people don’t know how the money they deposit is being invested and 56 per cent of people would like to be offered an ‘ethical option’ when choosing a savings account.
On the back of these findings it has launched a campaign to encourage people to move their funds to institutions which are more in sync with their values, namely themselves.
Patrick Crawford, the bank’s Chief Executive, said: “People don’t know what banks do with their money but the findings tell us that there is an appetite to find out and that people would like their savings to be used for good causes.
“Wherever it’s invested, money takes a journey. This might be around the globe, around the big banks or on the stock markets. Sometimes it does good along the way; sometimes it doesn’t.”
And the bank, which employs around 40 people in Tonbridge, argue that once you put the money into your account, it is out of your control.
The way it is used may go against personal values, for example someone who cares about cruelty to animals may have their money used to invest in factory farming.
Charity Bank promise complete transparency about the organisations they lend to and pledge that customer’s savings ‘become part of a social mission’ while still offering ‘competitive rates’. Currently their rate of interest is 0.9 per cent AER, which is comparable to all major high street banks
Although their focus is nationwide, locally, they have helped Hospice of Hope, a Kent-based palliative care charity, acquire a building in Otford High Street for their new head office.