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Savers more concerned with bank ethics than rates

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The ethical practices of banks are more important to Britons’ savers than good interest rates, a new report suggests.

The top factors influencing Britons’ choice of bank now, compared to when they joined their existing provider, are that the bank does not pay big banker bonuses (77%), offers good interest rates (62%), and acts with honesty and integrity (58%), according to the study by Triodos Bank.

Almost half of those surveyed (49%) said a bank’s ethical practice would be more important to them now than when they first opened their bank account.

The research also revealed that more than a third of savers (35%) have no idea what their bank does with their money, even though 74% said they would consider switching providers if they knew they bank was using their deposits to fund contentious sectors.

Savers would be most concerned if their bank used their money to fund activities involving human trafficking (75%), child labour (73%) and pornography (59%).

Huw Davies, head of personal banking at Triodos Bank, said: “Our research is a clear call from consumers to the financial services sector to make more fundamental changes, and do so more quickly, if they are serious about getting back in touch with society and regaining consumer trust.

“There is a definite message here that the public wants a shift in what banks do and how they do it, which requires a deep-seated change in culture and values.”