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Is Your Bank Ethical?

There are many factors that a customer must weigh up when choosing their bank, whether it be as a mortgage lender or just to hold their savings. But whilst customer service, fee structure and product offerings are all things to consider, it is now become apparent that many are looking at how ethical a bank is and their environmental impact.

What makes a bank ethical?

Financial institutions can have a significant impact on the environment due to their level of investment in fossil fuels and other resources. Determining whether a bank is considered environmentally friendly is not always straightforward as there are a few factors to consider.

Some customers are keen to evaluate a bank’s overall business practice that include such things as lending policies and investment decisions but to gauge whether it is ethical it’s stance on issues such as climate change and wildlife protection is key to know.

In addition, there are many banks who have sustainability or “green’ programs that encourage customers to be eco-friendly so it may be worthwhile to research what initiatives are available and if they would be suitable for your circumstance.

 Which banks fund fossil fuels?

Many high-profile banks fund fossil fuel industries in varying amount, these include:



* Bank Of China

* Citibank

* Commonwealth Bank



* Macquarie


* Westpac

Which banks are not investing in fossil fuels?

The following are a list of banks who are not investing in fossil fuels.

*Bendigo Bank

Bendigo Bank have stated that they are committed to giving back to the community abd oart of that pledge involves reducing their offset and impact. To that end they do not lend to the coal and gas sector.

*Teacher’s Mutual Bank

Teachers mutual not inly invest in environmentally friendly resources but they also reward their customers who have environmentally friendly feature on their home such as solar panels and rainwater tanks.


Once an investor in fossil fuels, Suncorp has changed tack and withdrawn from this sector.

*Heritage Bank

Heritage Bank have also confirmed that they do not invest in coal or gas.

Green Banking Options

Some of Australia larger banks have rolled out products and initiatives to make it cheaper for customers to install environmentally friendly products. Some of these include:

Commonwealth Bank Green Home Loan

A loan product specifically to be used on energy efficient products like solar hot water systems, solar batteries and solar panels.

Bendigo Bank Green Home Loan

If you are building or renovating your home and are using energy efficient products, Bendigo Bank offer low-rate home and personal loans options.

Bank Australia Cleaner Car Loans

Bank Australia offer discounts on car loans and lower fees when purchasing a lower emission vehicle.

Macquarie Bank Electric Vehicle Loan

Macquarie offer discounted rates when financing an electric vehicle.

Banking More Ethically

There are many other reasons why a lender or product is chosen and not everyone has the luxury of just choosing a bank because of its environmental impact alone. Just ensuring you opt for electronic statements and bank online instead of at branch are small scale choices you can make that will have a long-term positive impact.

If you do wish to know more about how ethical your bank is or have that information prior to choosing your lender, ask your mortgage broker. We understand that this is an important consideration that many customers want to be across so let us know if you wish to discuss this further as part of your next application.

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Paul Prindiville


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