LAST UPDATED: 16 March 2020
We have seen a boom in 'sustainable' brands, 'fair trade' supply chains, and even 'ethical' superannuation funds, as switched-on consumers demand transparency and grow increasingly concerned about what kind of products and industries their hard-earned dollars may be supporting.
This evolution towards the ethical begs the question: what about your savings that are sitting in the bank? They're not just sitting in the bank, after all. Banks use your money as a sort of 'piggy bank' to lend to other clients — some of whom you might not be so thrilled about.
While many banks have policies on investing in industries such as tobacco and coal, most of them don't take animal welfare into account in any meaningful way when choosing who gets their financial support. This means there's nothing stopping them from lending to cruel animal industries — using your money.
See where your bank falls on the animal welfare scale in the table below:
- Bank Australia's Responsible Banking policy
- ING's Animal Welfare policy
- Bendigo & Adelaide / Rural Bank's Animal Welfare and Livestock Farming Policy statement
- National Australia Bank's Animal Welfare principles
- Rabobank's Sustainability Policy Framework
- Bank of Queensland's Approach to Sustainable Lending
- HSBC Australia's Animal Welfare Statement
- Westpac's Financing Agribusiness statement
- Arab Bank Australia, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, and Suncorp have no animal welfare policy or statement.
Collectively NAB, ANZ, and CBA financially support more than 80% of the live export companies in Australia. So if your savings are tucked away in one of these banks, they could be used to prop up an industry that causes immense animal suffering.
Of course, this doesn't mean all other banks are 'sitting pretty'. If you’re with Westpac, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, AMP, HSBC, or Suncorp, your bank doesn't have an animal welfare policy either. That means there’s nothing to stop them financing live exporters too (or factory farms).
As conscious, caring citizens, we cannot underestimate our influence in encouraging the institutions we bank with to consider the impact of their lending practices – not only on people and our planet, but on animals too.
Banks like ANZ, CBA, and NAB spend a lot of time and energy on ad campaigns highlighting how much they care about YOU, their customers. That's why your feedback is essential in supporting our negotiations with these banks, and your message could be the final push needed for these financial giants to commit to developing more ethical banking policies.
What is your bank doing with your savings?