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Faith & Ethical Banking

Posted on: September 25, 2008

The credit crunch, breakdown of banks and merging of Halifax and Lloyds TSB seems to have dominated our news the last few weeks…alongside this it seems to be becoming more and more ‘fashionable’ to recycle plastic bags…buy cotton bags instead of using plastic bags and living life in a more ethical manner.

Last year I transferred my bank accounts over to Smile (The Co-op Bank) from Natwest (crapwest) for two main reasons…firstly Natwest were annoying me and secondly the Co-op has a very clear ethical policy which includes making sure that they do not invest in the arms trade, businesses involved in animal testing or goverments/businesses do not support human rights.

Amongst this they also do not invest in companies which have a bad impact on the environment or business which are involved in genetic modifications.

Since this move I have been pondering the implications of ethical banking as a Christian, should there be a link between the bank/building society we use and our faith?

The answer I’ve concluded is yes…let me explain.

If we accept that as Christians the impact of Christ is meant to effect every aspect of our lives then part of our lives is our money and investments. If a Christian operates a business you’d expect them to treat their customers and staff in a way which would reflect the way Christ treated everyone.

The same way (in my opinion) if as Christians we can make sure that we can reflect these views and morals Jesus set out within our banking and investment principals then we should. If we decide that as a Christian war is wrong then is it right to be investing in the arms trade through our banking?

I know that it’s impossible to know what the big high-street banks like Lloyds, Halifax, HSBC, Barclays and Natwest do with our money but it is possible to know what certain banks such as The Co-operative bank, Smile and Triodos don’t do with our money.

So I put it to you that as Christians Christ should be the centre of every aspect of our lives right from the way we treat people up to the way in which we shop and bank.

Remember banking is important to Jesus…’Jesus saves!’