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Watchdog rates banks based on their green credentials


Triodos Bank ‑ which brands its products “sustainable banking” ‑ topped the Which? list, followed by the Ecology and Nationwide building societies. Leeds and Skipton building societies were also in the top five.

Some 28 percent of members of consumer watchdog Which? said they care about the values of companies their savings are invested in.

However, 69 percent would not know how to find information about a bank’s green credentials.

Working with Ethical Consumer magazine, Which? rated 18 savings providers on four categories, with a maximum possible score of 100. 

In first place came Triodos Bank with 92. UK CEO Bevis Watts said: “Sustainability is absolutely at the heart of Triodos Bank, and we’re pleased to enable people’s money to be used as a force for good.”

Nationwide and Ecology both scored 90. The Co-operative Bank scored just 58 despite having a long-established ethical policy, but was still the best of the high street banks.

Santander was lowest of the giants with a rating of 35. NatWest scored 54, Lloyds 52, HSBC 44 and Barclays 41. 

Jenny Ross, of Which?, said: “Building societies and specialist banks are doing a better job on sustainability and transparency, compared to high street banks.”

The Co-op Bank said: “Our co-operative values and ethics and our unique customer-led ethical policy mean we are at the forefront of issues that matter to UK consumers.”

Barclays said its financing restrictions for certain fossil fuel sectors, were “not reflected in the scoring, undermining the credibility of this reporting”.

Santander said: “We have invested in developing a sustainability strategy and over the last year evolved our priorities and ambition levels to ensure we accelerate our journey to become a truly responsible bank.”

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