I don't know about you but sometimes I hit 'media overwhelm' about how to take action about the things I think that really matter. I mean - do my small actions of recycling, minimising electricity usage or growing my own organic veges make much of a difference?
Take fossil fuel use for instance. I love my car. Likewise electricity. I have solar panels, but going off grid requires just that bit of extra planning and legal wrangling - more than I really want to do. I do think though that we probably have the technology on this planet to not be using oil and petrol at all anymore, and I know for a fact that the 'off grid' reality may not be that far away for us all very soon (my intrepid partner has the inside gig into the commercial renewable energy world and he tells me that storage battery technology is developing rapidly).
But today I found a fantastic resource that was a definite 'light bulb' moment. It's from Friends of the Earth at http://www.marketforces.org.au/resources/switching-banks-materials/ - and it's a brochure called 'How to Switch Banks and Make It Count'. It has a lot of great information, including an outline of which banks are owned by or financing fossil fuel companies. There's a copy on the website or you can email me for one. So I did a brief check on which lenders on my panel have publicly stated that they're not involved in (by ownership or financing of) fossil fuels. And all of my favourites came up:
- ME Bank
- Adelaide Bank
- Suncorp (a Queenslander!)
- Heritage Bank (also a Queenslander!)
- The Rock (ANOTHER Queenslander!)
These are lenders that have taken the time to publicly comment about the issue. So I'm glad to say that they not only have my thumbs up for service, but they also have a conscience.
As a broker, it's not my job to steer you one way or another towards a lender. I'll always present the best options available in terms of rate, convenience and your own personal preferences (if your Great-Grandfather was a Westpac or CBA manager, you probably have a strong preference for a bank your whole family has dealt with for decades). And I'll even admit that because I'm in business, my accounts are with one of the big four at the moment (although that may change really soon).
But how good is it to know that at least there's a choice. And your actions CAN make a difference (and save you a heap of money too - the banks listed above often lead on interest rates). Give me a call if you want to make your money count (pun intended!)
Living Inline with your values is achievable.