Guide to Green Banking

Section 1 – Introduction 

If you’ve arrived on this resource pack, that means you’re committed to making a change to go green: to do your bit towards tackling the climate crisis.

Switching your bank, energy provider or pension and moving your money away from investments in fossil fuels is the most effective, simple step you can take towards this goal.

In fact, recent research by Nordea[1] found that changing where your money is invested is 27 times more effective in reducing your carbon footprint than taking fewer flights, going vegan and using less water, all put together.

This guide will be useful for:

  1. Individuals
    Anyone with a current account, savings account, energy provider or pension can benefit from our quick and easy steps to move your money away from fossil fuels and towards a bright future.
  2. Small-medium sized business owners
    If you own or work for a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), then this guide is also for you. In section three, you can find quick and easy steps for you to switch your business banking provider and go green.

    The UK definition of SME is generally a small or medium-sized enterprise with fewer than 250 employees, less than or equal to €50 million (at time of writing, this translates to approximately £42 million).

Bigger than that? It’s still possible to make the switch! We recommend reaching out to one of our recommended providers for tailored advice if you are a larger business. We have provided their contact details at the bottom of this guide for your benefit.

We’ll take you through the why, what and how of moving your money: why moving money away from fossil fuel extraction is needed; what you can do about it; and how to start the process right now.

[1] ‘Sustainable finance at Nordea’. Nordea, 2019.

We’re going to include some info here about why you should make the switch.
If you’re already sold and want to get to the how – head on over to our guides: ‘Switching your current account’ or ‘Switching your business account’.

Contents

Section 1 – Introduction

Section 2 – Green Banking Guides

Section 3 – Sum up

Section 4 – Further information

Section 3 – Sum up

You’ve made it to the end of our green banking guide!

The combined impact of moving your money from your current account, business banking account, energy provider and pension can be huge.

If you join us in moving money en masse, we can generate pressure on banks and pension providers to stop investing in fossil fuels. A brighter future is possible.

So far, through using our service, we have transferred £143 million+ out of fossil-fuel supporting banks. Furthermore, 24,000+ users have spread the word and told their banks we’ve had enough.

Are you wondering what else you can do? If so, help us spread the word about switching.

You can do this in three ways:

1. Tell your bank why you’re leaving
On our website (www.switchit.green), we provide a template letter to send to your bank on one of our “Switch Days”. This floods the banking providers with letters from customers who are leaving, amplifying their individual actions and turning them into collection action.

2. Tell your friends, colleagues or customers that you’ve made the switch
The more people that know how easy the switch can be, the more we can create ripple effects of divestments from the fossil fuel industry.

Switching your money can be good for business, with customers more attuned than ever to your green credentials. Spread the word that you’ve switched to your customers, and see if they’ll join you in switching their current accounts, too.

3. Join one of our employee engagement programmes
If you’re feeling inspired by the power of switching your money and would like to engage your employees in their own switching journeys, then Switch It can support you further.

Our Switching Campaign for businesses is a six-week-long campaign filled with motivational and inspirational information, promoting positive environmental choices on climate, culminating in a high-impact action.

For employee engagement programmes, please get in touch at: hello@switchit.green

Section 4 – Further Information

Contact details for our five recommended ethical banking providers, if required for further information:

Monzo Bank

  1. Monzo recommend using their app for speediest response
  2. Telephone for customer service enquires: 0800 802 1281
  3. FAQs & Contact Form on website: https://monzo.com/i/business/help/

Nationwide Bank

  1. Website, for FAQs: https://www.nationwide.co.uk/help/
  2. Telephone, e.g. to set up a current account: 03457 30 20 10
  3. Chat live via their website, in the bottom right hand corner chatbox.

Co-operative Bank

  1. Find answers to common questions in their online help centre.
  2. For help setting up a current account, call: 0344 249 9981
  3. For all other enquiries, call: 03457 212 212
  4. Social Media: customer service waiting to help you on Facebook and Twitter, Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, and 9am to 5pm at weekends.
    – Talk to them on Facebook
    – Send them a tweet
  5. Find a branch. Co-op branch staff can help you with any query you might have, as well as offering help in opening new accounts.

Starling Bank

  1. The quickest way to get in touch with an advisor is via the Starling app. From the account menu, tap ‘Help’ and then ‘Get in Touch’. You’ll then have the option to start a live chat session, or you can send a message which they will respond to as soon as possible.
  2. FAQs on website: https://www.starlingbank.com/
    contact/
  3. Telephone: Customer service lines are open 24/7 on 0800 0234 617

Triodos Bank
To ask a question via website: https://www.triodos.co.uk/contact-us

  1. To call from the UK: 0330 3550 355
  2. Look through their frequently asked questions online
  3. Send a secure message through internet banking
  4. Write to them at their freepost address: Freepost TRIODOS BANK

“It’s Royal Mail registered and simple to use – write it on your envelope as shown above (no stamp required) and your letter will get to us free of charge by second class mail. For first class mail, you can post in the normal way to: Triodos Bank, Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AS”

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Thank you to our partner Switch It Green for their contribution to this guide to Green Banking.