Choosing a bank is not easy. Even in small towns, you can find several different banks and credit unions. So how do you choose where to put your money? Of course, you value customer service and helpful features. But have you ever thought about your bank’s activity behind the scenes? Money doesn’t wait around in the bank vault. Banks are businesses, too. And 90 cents of every deposited dollar goes out into the world to finance things. Would you agree with your bank’s behavior inside and outside its four walls? Ben Stuart is the CMO of Bank of the West. He joins Bold TV to tell us how to find the necessary information on banks.
Look at the bank’s financing
Where’s the first place we go to find information? The internet. Stuart’s first suggestion is to look at a bank’s website. They should list their policies and what they finance. Some of their projects may be great, like a new school or small business. But you may not agree with others, like oil rigs or fracking wells. The next place to look is at research reports. The Rainforest Action Network puts out an annual report called “Banking on Climate Change.” They find out which banks finance fossil fuels. And they rank the largest banks in the world. In their 2020 report, they stated that 35 banks gave $2.7 trillion to fossil fuels since 2016.
Ethical workplace practices
Unfortunately, reports of workplace harassment and discrimination are becoming more common. How do you choose a bank that is ethical behind closed doors? Your first go-to is, once again, the internet. For example, Forbes puts out a list of the best employers for women. Next, look at the leadership of the company. How does their board of directors look? If using an ethical bank is important to you, there are resources out there to help you make an informed decision. The good news is that you have many options!