The question: ” What’s In Your Wallet?” is part of the campaign of one of our leading banking conglomerates. It’s a great question! This is because the major banks in the U.S. . (and across the globe) are among the most serious offenders in terms of investing in fossil fuels and all that contributes to global warming and climate chaos. On an individual level, we can send a message to these banks by removing our funds from their clutches and instead lodging our funds with banks that have committed to behaving in a socially responsible manner. There are two external certification mechanisms that banks may use to substantiate their ‘socially responsible’ credentials. The most obvious is to become a Benefit Corporation – a business that does not simply focus on maximizing profits but also includes environmental and social justice in its criteria for incorporation (see What’s a Benefit Corp). Another is the Global Alliance for Banking Values. Banks that have joined one or the other organization are certified not to focus only on profits but to honor the triple bottom line of ‘profits, people, and planet’ or ‘economy, ecology, and equity.’
A 2019 discussion of Community Development Financial Institutions (as opposed to ‘regular banks’ is available here. Not that the worst offender in terms of fossil fuel investment are Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citi. If you are trying to find a better bank for banking, credit card, credit union, or loan visit Green America’s Get a Better Bank site and then Break Up with your Mega Bank.
Green Banking for Business Owners: As a green business, you align your products and practices with your values—but does your bank align with your values, too? Mary Meade (September 6, 2020). [Ideas for individuals & Break up with your mega-bank.]