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Triodos Bank: savers want greater social responsibility from banks

Three-quarters of UK savers feel banks should do more to help society, according to ethical bank Triodos. Its research shows 74% of savers think banks should be responsible for helping society.

Two-thirds of savers want to see more investment in community and social groups, and a similar number would like to see banks doing more to support renewable energy initiatives.

A quarter of respondents want to see greater investment in organic farming and one in five feel culture and the arts deserve more support from the banking community.

Charles Middleton, managing director at Triodos Bank, said: “There is a real sense that consumers are looking at their banks, the very organisations who brought the economy to its knees, and demanding they take an active role in helping to build it back up again.

“The fact that only one in six people believe their bank should have no role to play in helping society sends out a very clear call to action to policymakers, shareholders, and bank executives, which is to ensure the banking sector gives more back to society rather than just taking.

“These organisations wield tremendous amounts of power and there is no good reason why they cannot and should not be used as a force for good.”

Mr Middleton added: “There must be greater transparency to savers about where their deposits are used and explicit statements from all banks on whether they support activity that the majority of savers find concerning.

“This transparency must also be combined with a greater boardroom focus on banks’ role in the real economy, so that the potential and power of the sector can be put to better use, rather than a focus on short-term profit and shareholder return.”

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