Ethical banks – the new High Street heroes?
- By Hannah Mahony -
- Aug 30, 2012
Recent reports from the British Bankers’ Association have raised questions scrutinising High Street bank lending and opening welcome to ethical banking organisations.
The ethical enterprises, that include banks such as Fair Finance and Triodos are swapping usual banking techniques and offering affordable lending based on trust – a somewhat risky approach that has recently helped hundreds wanting to explore self-employment.
Fair Finance offers small loans at reasonable rates to people excluded and exploited by the financial services industry. Their investments are helping people avoid losing their homes, take control of their lives and fund businesses.
The founder of Fair Finance, (a former World Bank employee), Faisel Rahman said: “Some people have great business idea, but because of their credit history, they are financially excluded. A few businesses have gone on to do very well and we have proved to the banks that our lending model works.”
Netherlands based ethical bank Triodos is also leading smaller businesses to success, and are even due to announce an eight per cent rise in lending to businesses in the six months to June. Bevis Watts, Head of Business Banking at Triodos said: “All major banks are reducing their total net lending. In that context, eight per cent in six months is still very impressive.”
With more High Street banks less willing to lend and ethical banking opening opportunity to smaller creative industries, will ethical banks overthrow the High Street and lead as heroes?