In today’s world, banking is about more than just interest rates and location. It’s about aligning your financial choices with your values. As the financial landscape evolves, so do the options for consumers seeking banks that match their personal beliefs and principles. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various banking options that cater to your specific values and interests.
Banking for Political Values
Banks and Politics
The choices banks make when lending money can have political implications. For example, JPMorgan Chase has been in the spotlight for its significant investments in fossil fuels. If you’re passionate about the environment, you might prefer to deposit your money elsewhere. Websites like Mighty Deposits and Open Secrets can help you find banks that align with your political values by providing insights into their investments and political contributions.
Progressive Banks vs. Conservative Banks
Fostering Change vs. Upholding Tradition
Some banks actively contribute to progressive causes, fostering environmental consciousness and supporting unions. Amalgamated Bank, Beneficial State Bank, and Sunrise Banks are among the leaders in this category. On the other hand, if conservative values resonate with you, banks like Woodforest National Bank, First Premier Bank, and Arvest Bank might be more in line with your beliefs.
Spirituality and Finances
For those seeking a deeper connection between their faith and finances, there are faith-based financial institutions. AdelFi Credit Union, a Christian-based institution in Brea, California, caters to individuals who share its statement of faith. AdelFi gives back by donating 10 percent of its profits to Christian-based efforts. Other faiths are also represented, with options like University Islamic Financial and the Kosher Financial Institute.
Environmentally Friendly Banking
Banking for a Greener Future
Environmental impact is a growing concern for many consumers. If you want your money to support green initiatives, consider banks like Amalgamated Bank, Aspiration, Civic Federal Credit Union, Limelight Bank, and Southern Bancorp, all of which prioritize environmental sustainability and community well-being.
Socially Responsible Investing
Balancing Returns and Social Good
Socially responsible investing (SRI) is gaining traction, allowing investors to make financial returns while supporting causes they believe in. Morgan Stanley offers a Global Sustain Portfolio for those who want to limit their carbon footprint, while Betterment offers themed portfolios related to social responsibility. According to a 2022 survey, ESG investing has proven to yield better returns for investors, making it a compelling choice.
The Case for Staying Local
Supporting Your Community
Supporting your local community is essential to some individuals. Many local banks actively contribute to their communities, such as the Bank of North Dakota, which channels profits into local needs and mission-driven programs. If you value local initiatives, check with your local bank to see how they align with your values.
Certifications for Certain Values
Just as businesses earn certifications to showcase their commitment to specific values, financial institutions can do the same. Certifications like B Corp, CDFI, GABV, and EPFI signify a bank’s dedication to socially responsible banking and environmental sustainability. These certifications not only give banks a competitive edge but also help consumers make informed choices about where to entrust their money.
Value-based banking goes beyond mere financial transactions; it’s about integrating personal values into your banking choices. With an array of options catering to different beliefs and principles, consumers now have the power to make a meaningful impact through their financial decisions. Whether you’re passionate about politics, faith, the environment, or social responsibility, there’s a bank that aligns with your values. When considering switching banks, be sure to evaluate the institution’s products, fees, and requirements to ensure they match your ideals. Banking isn’t just about money; it’s about making a statement with your finances.