Jar filled with coins and a plant spouting from it - insinuating a green investment

Independent financial adviser, Becky Hammonds of Willow Financial Solutions, looks at how you can ensure your investments are ethical or green.

Despite a growing worldwide movement to tackle climate change, many banks are continuing to fund the problem rather than the solution.

It goes without saying that your money doesn’t just sit in a bank vault somewhere, banks invest it and many are investing in fossil fuels and companies which you may feel are inappropriate.

Research by the Rainforest Action Network found that the world’s biggest banks invested £1.5trillion into fossil fuels between 2016 and 2019.

One way of ensuring your money is working for good is to move to an ethical bank.

Moving to an ethical bank, you will know your money isn’t being used to fund anything that could have a negative impact on society. These banks do not invest in, or lend to, companies that trade in things such as arms, tobacco or fossil fuels. Instead, they lend to firms that are doing good in the world; this could be renewable energy companies or community projects. Some also offer mortgages to people building sustainable homes.

Taking the time to look at how your money is affecting the planet and making decisions based on that can make a real difference.

It is possible to find ethical banks and investments that won’t cost the earth. The Co-operative Bank and Triodos are the UK’s best known operators.

The Co-op Bank doesn’t lend to companies that don’t fit with its values, so it doesn’t do business with the oil, coal or gas industries. Better still, they conduct opinion polls to ask you what matters to you.

Triodos only lends to organisations that are positively affecting the environment and society.

You can search for your bank at Your Ethical Money to find out more about its ethical credentials, from whether it lends to companies trading in arms or tobacco to how many ethnic minorities it employs.

For savings and investment advice contact Becky Hammonds on 07969 269677 or email becky@willowfs.co.uk