How Banks Destroy Your Future, And What You Can do About It

Money makes the world go round, but it can also make the world go burn. If you care about the planet, the people on it, or just life in general then you probably don’t want your investments to destroy what you care about. Investment funds that claim to protect the environment and it’s important to ensure that they actually do what they claim, and there are organizations that check that. As a consumer you can talk to your bank or financial advisor about this to bring more awareness to your concerns.

[#1] Blast the banks on socials.
Big banks are incredibly worried about their reputations, and they’re extra sensitive during their annual shareholder meetings. Those happen to be happening right now, so fire up those accounts and get to blastin’ about it.

[#2] Switch your bank.
If you don’t want your money being lent to fossil fuel companies, switch to a bank that won’t do that. There are a bunch of full service, FDIC-insured banking options out there to choose from.

[#3] Go outside and get loud!
Put on some pants, walk outside, and get loud about how absolutely f%&ed it is that banks are still lending to the fossil fuel sector.

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Customers of Barclays Threaten to Leave Over Tar Sands

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Customers of banks are getting sick of their money being spent on destroying the world so they’re doing something about it. The Dirty Dozen banks are a group of banks that Greenpeace argues are the worst when it comes to investing. Barclays is one of those banks thanks to their investments in the shameful Canadian tar sands. Greenpeace started their awareness campaign and now people are taking the next step by losing their accounts with Barclays. It’s a great direct action to send an important message.

Of those who signed the petition, 6,000 told the environmental group that they were ready to close their accounts if Barclays did not heed their warning, while some said they had already done so.

“Moving your bank account is quite a big undertaking so we were genuinely surprised when people started doing it without us even suggesting it,” said Greenpeace oil campaigner Hannah Martin.

“This new information shows that the opposition to Barclays funding dirty tar sands projects isn’t just broad, but deep.

“People are prepared to put themselves through a bit of bureaucratic hassle to try to persuade their bank to do the right thing.”

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African Development Bank is Going Green

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Banks have a reputation for being too greedy for the good of anyone outside themselves; however, some banks are thinking in the long term. The African Development Bank has announced a partnership with Green Climate Fund to push renewable energy and resilient systems. They figure that Africa is the best part of the world to achieve a sustainable economy because of the increasing investment in the continent and the ability to ‘leap frog’ older energy technology.

Together with the Green Climate Fund, we can do a lot to move the continent towards low-carbon and climate-resilient development.”

Approved as a GCF Accredited Entity in March 2016, AfDB is working on a series of mitigation and adaptation initiatives at the national and regional levels designed to enhance African countries’ access to GCF resources.

GCF Executive Director, Howard Bamsey said GCF’s partnership with AfDB will be key in unlocking the potential across the African continent to pursue climate resilient and low-emission growth.

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New bank Account Morally Monitors Your Purchases

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Aspiration financial firm is a B-corporatoin that wants to help people “vote with their wallets”. It’s incredibly hard for individuals to stay up to date on the damage that large organizations do despite that a lot of people care. Consumers want to punish companies for some of their actions from United kicking people off airplanes to Shell lying about climate change. This means there’s an opportunity for Aspiration to help people divert money from companies that make the world worse, and the company is growing as a result.

Called Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM), the program analyzes not one, but thousands of data points to generate two scores for companies: The “People” score gauges how well companies treat their employees and communities, and the “Planet” score assesses companies’ sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Every time an Aspiration customer swipes the debit card associated with their account to make a payment toward a company, that company’s Planet and People scores are funneled into the customer’s personalized AIM score, which reflects the positive (or negative) impact of where they shop.

“People have been hungering for this exact kind of information,” Cherny says. “We see this in our customers, we see this in all these surveys that are coming out about how younger people especially, but consumers overall, are thinking about how a company behaves and how its products are created as they make decisions on where to buy. But until now, they haven’t really had the information to be able to do so.”

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A Hippocratic Oath for Bankers

Bankers destroyed the economy and in too many countries those responsible walk free despite the damage they wrought. Iceland jailed bankers at fault in their country, but what can we do to ensure that bankers behave in the future?

Doctors take the hippocratic oath in order to practice medicine, now it’s being suggested bankers need something similar. We don’t want bankers to be like people with MBAs.

In contrast to a rigid moral regime that most ethical systems call for, the theory of virtue recognises that people’s needs are all different and as a result, argues for the fulfillment of those needs in all of their distinctness. Applying this theory to banking reform means that our banks should, to the best of their abilities, attempt to meet people’s diverse financial needs, and should not simply focus on self-enrichment or basic transactional services.

This bankers’ oath would symbolise a turning point for the profession and make a much-needed encouraging signal to the public. Lawyers, doctors and architects all hold a professional motive to not only do the best for their client but also adhere to the well established principles of that profession. In medicine, the Hippocratic oath provides a centre-piece for personal responsibility in the profession and their overarching principles. Banking is no different and in the post-crash era, should strive towards professionalism.

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