9 Best Socially Responsible Banks in 2022

May 20, 2022

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Suppose you open an account with a socially responsible bank. In that case, your funds will be used to support initiatives to promote ecological and social good. Like any other bank, money coming from bank accounts can be used to fund loans for businesses and homeowners.

Additionally, socially responsible banks include credit unions, banks (as the equivalent of not-for-profits), and fintech, internet-only firms referred to as neobanks. They can all demonstrate their commitment to social justice or sustainability by obtaining third-party certifications. These certificates are among the most reliable methods to identify an ethical bank.

Many consumers “put their money where their mouth is” when they ask companies to embrace corporate social responsibility appropriate for the 21st century.

This means they will likely be able to evaluate a business’s commitment towards ESG values — social, environmental, social, governance, and other concerns -at the very least, informally.

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In actuality, that could mean that you avoid the clothing retailer recently found to have been involved in illegal working conditions in the chain of supply, including involvement in prisoner or child work or a deficiency of safety and health standard in the factories.

It could mean actively buying at fast-food chains or grocery shops that made giant steps towards eliminating plastic cup bags, packaging, and cups instead of choosing sustainable alternatives.

How can you tell Which Banks Are Adherent To ESG Principles?

Socially and environmentally responsible banks are banks that are not only to make money (although this will undoubtedly remain a significant aspect) however but to bring about positive change around the globe.

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How can you tell the banks responsible for their social responsibilities? accountable but?

Let’s face it for a second In the current political climate, it is unlikely that any company will be hurt by advertising that promotes aspects such as sustainability in the environment and social justice. Many will benefit.

In this way, it’s not difficult to find companies such as banks that have a solitary pledge towards ESG value in a very explicit manner.

“One tree planted per email” is an illustration.

If you’re trying to determine how committed your banking institution has been to ESG principles and practices, focusing on sustainability in the environment and the mitigation of climate-related change.

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But there’s a better approach to this than relying on a bank’s well-publicized steps towards the proper direction. This may end up being nothing more than an advertising stunt.

The same is true for those thinking of switching banks because you understand that money speaks, and you’d like to work with eco-friendly and socially-conscious banks.

While consumers can determine whether a bank is committed to social and environmental equity in various ways, the fact is that we all lead busy, complex lives. There. There isn’t much time to conduct research that could bring substantial cash if you work professionally.

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Best socially responsible banks

Aspiration

Overview: The web-based brokerage and technology company Aspiration, launched in 2015, has a spend and savings account and investment and credit card funds. The spending tracker tool it offers considers environmental and social aspects when you shop at a company. The company’s Spend & Save account is a hybrid saving and checking account, sometimes referred to as a cash management account, that offers federal government deposit coverage through the partners’ banks. (See this review. )

The impact: Aspiration doesn’t fund any coal or oil-related projects and instead invests in Reforestation initiatives, which are an offset of carbon to plants that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It is possible to plant a tree every when you make a payment using a credit card.

Account: Spend & Save Account.

Certifications:

  • Certified B Corp.
  • Green America Certified. 1 100 % for the planet.

The Aspiration Spend and Save Accounts manage cash and are provided by Aspiration Financial, LLC, an authorized broker-dealer, Member of FINRA/SIPC, and an affiliate of Aspiration Partners, Inc. (“Aspiration”). Aspiration isn’t a bank.

Its Aspiration Save Account’s 5.00 percent annual percentage yield (“APY”), which can be up to 83x of the national interest rate, is subject to change and subject to change and is only offered to customers who are members of Aspiration Plus once conditions are satisfied. Customers who aren’t enrolled in Aspiration Plus get 3.00% APY when the conditions are comfortable.

Pros

  • A high savings rate of as high as 3% annually percent yield on the first $10,000 when customers make at least $1,000 per month. (Higher rate is offered with an upgrade to a credit card. )
  • Cashback on certain debit card purchases.
  • There is no monthly charge; there’s the option to “pay the reasonable amount. “
  • Free nationwide ATM network.

Cons

  • A monthly cost to upgrade the account to receive greater APY, cashback, and the option to plant trees to offset gas expenses.
  • No cash deposit option.

Amalgamated Bank

Overview: Founded in 1923 as a financial institution for a workers’ clothing Union, Amalgamated Bank has stuck to its founding principles of working with over 1,000 unions like firefighters, teachers, and other associations. The bank is based in New York and offers online check-ins that are nationally available and savings accounts that provide the option of supporting causes that you care about.

Impact The bank can also maintain strict certifications; the bank has set a concrete goal of cutting its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 without having recourse to offsets (such as planting trees to absorb carbon dioxide). The plan was endorsed in the Science-Based Targets initiative. This international association assists private sector businesses in setting emission reduction targets. The Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index awarded the bank an A+ rating which reflects its LGBTQand employee-friendly corporate practices and policies. The bank also pledges that none of its funds is given to companies operating in the fossil fuel sector.

Accounts Giving-Back Checking and Give-Back Savings.

Certifications:

  • Certified B Corporation.
  • Participant in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.
  • Green America Certified.

Pros

  • Savings and checking accounts do not have monthly charges.
  • Make-Bank and Savings Give-Back accounts allow you to donate money to one of five causes: The Color of Change, an internet-based organization for racial justice.
  • Free nationwide ATM network.

Cons

  • Mobile app ratings are lower than the average.
  • An overdraft charge of $34 per transaction and up to five times each day.

Ando

Overview In January 2021, the app launched; Ando is an environmentally mindful mobile banking application and website partnered with Community Federal Savings Bank to provide accounts. The Nedbank offers equivalent checking accounts and savings accounts. It also demonstrates how customers’ funds are allocated to various green initiatives, such as sustainable transportation and clean energy.

Impact: To fulfill its values and certifications, Ando invests 100% of the customer’s deposits in companies dedicated to stabilizing and preserving the environment from unsustainable global warming. Two examples include the sustainable companies in energy Skyview Ventures, which invests in solar energy projects. The funding project partnered with VCC Bank, another B Corp company, to set up a solar power system at the Virginia vet clinic.

Accounts The Spending Account as well as the additional Savings Account.

Certifications:

  • Certified B Corp.
  • Fossil Free Certified.

Pros

  • 1.5% cashback on debit card purchases.
  • No monthly costs.
  • Free nationwide ATM network.
  • Overdraft protection is free with assets up to $200.

Cons

  • A low savings rate is offered if you don’t make more than five debit card purchases and have a minimum of 500 direct deposits per month. If you meet those two conditions, the rate ranges between 1% and 5percent APY, based on whether you invite five other friends to join Ando and they become active users.
  • No joint accounts.

City First Bank, National Association

Introduction: City First Bank is the largest bank led by blacks across the U.S. due to the two banks combining at the end of 2021. City First Bank (based in Washington, D.C.) and Broadway Federal Savings and Loan (based in Los Angeles). Both banks, founded in 1999 and 1947, respectively, were established to facilitate financial access for unserved communities.

Impact City First focuses its lending on the development of economics in moderate- and low-income communities within and surrounding Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Over 70% of its loans are granted to those communities. The company also has an environmental focus, reflected through its certification being a Certified B Corp and Global Alliance member.

Accounts: City First regular personal checking account, City First regular savings account, City First CDs.

Certifications:

  • Certified B Corp.
  • Participant in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.
  • Certified Community Development Financial Institution.
  • Depository institutions of minority (Black-led institutions).

Pros

  • It is simple to eliminate the monthly fee of $7 for checking by using electronic statements or, at the very least, a $100 average monthly balance.
  • 24/7 support for customers via phone.
  • Free nationwide ATM network.

Cons

  • A low savings rate close to the average national rate of 0.06 percent the APY.
  • A few reviews of its mobile applications.
  • Overdraft fees of $25 for every transaction; 5 dollars are charged for a balance not paid over five consecutive days.

Clean Energy Credit Union

Overview: As the name implies, the credit union is focused on clean energy through its loan and partnership services. It was launched in the year 2018. The credit union doesn’t have branches but is part of branches and ATM networks together with credit unions. It offers a cashback checking account, high yield CDs, and a savings account required to join with a minimum balance. Membership eligibility is open to anyone in the U.S. who agrees to join the nonprofit national organization Solar United Neighbors (at no cost) to apply to a credit union and other options.

Impact: Members can obtain financing for electric vehicles and solar electric systems, geothermal heat pumps, and other energy-related initiatives. Because it is Fossil Free Certified, the credit union cannot support fossil fuel-related projects.

Accounts Checking account, savings account CDs.

Certifications:

  • Green America Certified.
  • Fossil Free Certified.
  • 1 100 % for the planet.

Pros

  • Cashback of 1% on your checking account if you meet one of the four requirements, including performing at least ten transactions per month with your debit card and receiving a minimum of 1,000 in direct deposits each month.
  • No monthly fees and no overdraft charges.
  • Competitive CD rates.
  • Part of a shared ATMs and branches in conjunction with the other credit unions.

Cons

  • Savings rate low.
  • A few comments on mobile applications.

Decorah Bank & Trust Company

Overview: Established in 1935 in Decorah, Iowa, this community bank has emphasized using renewable energy for its operations and environmental footprint from the beginning of the 2000s. The bank offers three checking and four savings accounts, numerous CDs, and various loans. There are three branches in Iowa and more than 3100 ATMs. However, the bank also has a robust web presence, mobile applications, and a live chat feature for customers.

Impact: In 2019, Decorah Bank achieved a carbon-neutral footprint, thanks to its investments in solar electricity. It is part of an international consortium of socially conscious and like-minded banks. The family-owned and employee-owned banks also provide green energy-related loans.

Accounts: Simply Checking, Savings, CDs.

Certification:

  • A member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.

Pros

  • No monthly cost for simply checking.
  • It is simple to waive the additional $3 per month for savings if you have an account with a minimum balance of $100.
  • Mobile apps have high ratings. Applications.

Cons

  • A few branches are primarily for Iowa customers with a comparatively tiny ATM network.
  • $30 fee for each overdraft; $7 per transfer involving an overdraft from savings to checking accounts.
  • Monthly requirements to apply for interest checking are vast Electronic statements, direct deposit along with 10 card transaction transactions from debit cards are necessary.

Greenpenny

Overview: In the middle of 2020, Decorah Bank rolled out its digital-only bank division, dubbed Greenpenny. The bank’s online platform provides interest-earning savings and checking accounts and solar loans, mortgages, etc. The bank defines its mission as “a form of crowdfunding for the advancement of clean and renewable energy,” according to its website.

Impact: The bank it is owned by has joined the Global Alliance, giving Greenpenny the same access to the global bank network that is sustainable. For a few examples of the purpose, Greenpenny has financed solar solutions for schools and farmers in Iowa and underwriting a kind of loan that’s difficult to understand. Greenpenny’s website also has a carbon footprint calculator. Greenpenny’s website is a good starting point.

Accounts: Free Checking, Greenpenny Savings, CDs.

Certifications:

  • The parent bank is an active member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.
  • 1 100 % for the planet.

Pros

  • No monthly charges or out-of-network ATM charges on checking accounts and savings.
  • Reasonable rates for its accounts of savings as well as CDs.
  • Budgeting software for digital devices includes the automatic savings plan. Every debit card transaction is a round-up, and the difference gets put into savings.

Cons

  • No weekend or late weekday hours for customer support by phone.
  • $30 fee for each overdraft. $7 price for each transfer involving an overdraft from savings into a checking account.

Lead Bank

Introduction: Founded in 1928 as a financial institution for families and farms in the local area, Lead Bank has expanded its operations in the past few years to assist more communities across Missouri. The bank has two branches in Missouri -Lee’s Summit and Kansas City and Lee’s Summit and an impressive digital experience for its customers across the nation, with features like the live chat feature. Additionally, it offers an uncomplicated collection of savings and checking accounts and CDs.

Effect: Lead Bank focuses its impact on three specific areas: children and women in need, economic inclusion, and the cultural and arts in Kansas City and Lee’s Summit. The bank collaborates with local groups through volunteers or donations and serves on their boards of directors. Alongside its affiliation with the Global Alliance, Lead Bank was named The Small Business of the Year by the city’s Chamber of Commerce in 2018 for its commitment to serving the community.

Accounts: Lead On Checking, Lead On Savings, CDs.

Certification:

  • Participant in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.

Pros

  • There are no monthly fees and minimum monthly balances on savings and checking.
  • Live chat is available, and excellent mobile apps.
  • Free nationwide ATM network.

Cons

  • Low rates on CDs and savings and CDs; the lead On savings rate is similar to the average national rate of 0.06 percent.
  • $30 fee for overdrafts and a $10 price for any overdraft-related switch from checking to savings.
  • The website doesn’t disclose rates or overdraft fees.

Self-Help Credit Union

Introduction: Founded in 1980 to assist farmers in rural North Carolina, residents own the mills they worked in; Self-Help Credit Union has grown into a self-help network of organizations. Self-Help serves communities primarily within North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Virginia, with more than 30 branches and 90,000 members. (Its sister credit union, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, concentrates specifically on California, Illinois, Washington, and Wisconsin.) Anyone living in the U.S. can be eligible to join by paying a single cost of $5 and signing up with the nonprofit Center for Community Self-Help, the umbrella group for all Self-Help organizations.

Effect: Self-Help assists low-income communities most affected by natural and environmental catastrophes. Apart from not investing in the extraction or production of fossil fuels, The bank has also invested around $409million into projects that have led to positive environmental effects since 1989. The lending it makes as a CDFI is a way to support green jobs.

Accounts Savings, checking certificate of the term (its term for CDs).

Certifications:

  • Certified Community Development Financial Institution.

Green America Certified.

  • Fossil Free Certified. Members of Inclusiv is an Inclusive Community Development Credit Union.
  • Multiracial-owned credit union.

Pros

  • A part of the accessible nationwide ATM and branch networks shared with credit unions. Self-Help also provides six free ATM withdrawals per month.
  • It is easy to eliminate the monthly fee of $5 on checking using some options: direct deposit, the balance of $2,500, being younger than 25 years old, or more than 64.
  • No overdraft fees.
  • Affordable rates for time certificates.

Cons

  • No weekend or late weekday hours for customer support by phone.
  • Mixed reviews on mobile applications.
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