The Co-operative Bank one of only three banks labelled a Which? Eco provider

5 October 2023

3 min read

The consumer champion Which? examined the environmental policies of 13 of the UK's leading current account providers, with only three earning the Which? Eco Provider badge.

The Co-operative Bank is one of these providers. It has no exposure to fossil fuels in their banking activities.

Banks can finance fossil fuels in a variety of ways: through project finance (lending to fossil fuel companies for specific projects), general corporate lending and capital markets activity such as underwriting.

Which? researchers considered transparency levels and whether banks had credible targets to reduce exposure to environmentally damaging sectors, and checked whether they publish independently verified data.

Which? noted that The Co-operative Bank sets high ethical standards for the businesses it offers services and finance to, most of which are small and medium sized. It excludes firms involved in the exploration, extraction or production of fossil fuels, and the unsustainable harvest of natural resources. It told Which? it includes parent companies within its ethical review of firms, excluding those with unethical policies both in and out of the UK.

Sam Richardson, Deputy Editor of Which? Money, said:

“Consumers seeking to make more sustainable choices might want to consider switching banks if they are uncomfortable with their money being invested in the fossil fuel industry and other projects which could be damaging to the environment.

"By choosing one of Which?'s three Eco Providers, customers can feel confident that their bank has impressive green credentials and steers clear of investing money in coal, oil or gas."

A Co-operative Bank spokesperson said:

"We're so pleased to have been recognised by Which? as one of only three Eco Providers, a testament to the longstanding commitment we've had since 1998 to withhold finance to any business whose activity contributes to fossil fuel extraction or production.

"Customers want their banks to operate with transparency. Despite this, we remain the only UK bank with an Ethical Policy, informed by the views of our customers. It sets out the activities we refuse to fund or provide banking services for and states the steps we are taking to have a positive impact on our planet, on people and on our communities."

To view Which?'s results in full, please visit their website.


The Co-operative Bank Press Office

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