Bank Sticks to its Green Principles

The Co-operative Bank turned away almost £10 million of business last year on ethical grounds. The Bank, which grew out of the co-operative movement in the U.K., has a strict ethical policy that outlines areas in which they will not invest their customers’ money. Dozens of companies did not stand up to its screening tests. More than half of those turned away were refused on grounds of environmental concerns, mainly the levels of pollution generated by the businesses. This accounted for more than half of the £10M rejected. About a fifth of companies were refused because of their neglect of animal welfare--this cost them £1.9M. A further 20 per cent were turned away over human rights abuses--they reject clients with poor labour practices or which fail to uphold basic human rights--this also cost them £1.9M. Craig Shannon, director of business management, said: "This analysis demonstrates that we are prepared to turn away business for ethical reasons in line with our customers' concerns. Despite this scrutiny…a growing proportion of business customers are coming to the bank because of our ethical positioning." The good news for the bank is that more than a third of its profits could be attributed to its ethical policies. :: Telegraph