Following the announcement of Philips’ new sustainability-driven revolving credit facility, Dutch banking group Triodos has launched a personal current account in the UK in response to a growing demand for responsible banking products.
“Our new personal account brings an inspiring new option to the UK current account market, which we believe is dysfunctional and is obviously dominated by a small number of large banks,” said Bevis Watts, Managing Director of Triodos UK.
Unlike other financial institutions, Triodos has put sustainability at the heart of its operations, as opposed to creating supplementary carbon emissions reduction and social impacts strategies. The bank only lends money to organizations and projects that are making positive environmental and social impacts. It lends over £700 million to organizations and projects ranging from charities, community schemes and social housing providers to organic farmers, homelessness programs and renewable energy projects and publishes details of every loan it makes via KnowWhereYourMoneyGoes.co.uk for complete transparency.
“For many years now, consumers have had the opportunity to align their values with the food they choose to buy, the transport they take and the energy they consume. Now they have that choice with their daily finances, using their money as an irresistible force for good that works towards positive social, cultural and environmental change,” Watts said.
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In addition to providing customers with information about how the bank uses money, the new personal account — which becomes available in June — will charge customers £3 per month for the current account service and will not allow unarranged overdrafts, thus removing the risk of high penalty fees, which the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says equate to £1.2 billion each year.
Triodos will provide customers with an eco-friendly chip and PIN debit card from polylactic acid (PLA), derived from renewable, plant-based resources such as corn or sugar cane, which after rigorous testing is believed to have the strongest environmental credentials of any debit card in the UK market.
“In designing this new current account, from the plastic used to the fees and charges structure, we have consistently adhered to Triodos’ principles of transparency, sustainability and fairness. Our current account provides the essential banking services expected by customers, but much more as well,” Huw Davies, head of retail banking at Triodos.
“We believe this new product will inspire the many people who make conscious sustainable choices in their daily lives to move their banking to a bank which shares their values and which is working to have a real, positive impact on society.”
The bank has already proven that the world is ready to embrace change, with current accounts having already been rolled out successfully in the Netherlands, Spain and Germany.
“Money is the most powerful tool for change. UK consumers are realizing just how much influence they can exert over the banking system and our wider society simply by channeling their finances into things that benefit them, their communities and society in the long term,” said Watts.