After emerging as a huge success in the United States at the end of last year, the Move Your Money campaign has now spread to the UK. With over 10 million Americans moving their money to local financial institutions, the campaign hopes to achieve similar results here.
‘Unfortunately, most people bank with the major high street banks and there's lots of evidence that they persistently avoid tax, pay excessive bonuses to executives, invest unethically, and provide poor customer service,' says the founder of the campaign, Marloes Nicholls.
‘There are hundreds of ethical and socially useful banks in the UK, like credit unions, building societies and the co-operative bank that will use your money in ways that are more geared to helping people, society and the environment, as well as providing a good return for you.'
By moving your money out of the banks that rank less than 5/20 in the Ethiscore (ethical consumer score), you are directly supporting more ethical banks. Move Your Money's campaign website highlights the 5 major unethical banks, displaying their low Ethiscore ranking and providing shocked clients with a report on why they rank so low on the ethical scale. And then it's time for you to act on the data you have been given.
However, if you're still looking for a bit of inspiration before you take that big step towards moving your money between banks, you can take comfort in knowing that this isn't the first campaign against a major financial institution. In the 1980s, a student led campaign resulted in Barclays pulling out of an apartheid South Africa. With the same kind of dedication and commitment, we too can be a part of a successful 'movement for better banking.'
Move Your Money month this March aims to see a shift from an unfair, unjust banking system to a better, more socially fair one. In the weeks leading up to 'Bank Transfer Day' in the States (5th November, 2011), 650,000 people transferred money to their local banks. By using the 'Where can I move to?' link on the MYM web page, it isn't difficult to figure out which bank is best suited for you and start the process of moving your money now.
'At an individual level, you can't do everything to put an unfair economy right - but you can do something,' says Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Coops UK, on the MYM website. 'Move your money is the new fair trade. It is THE campaign of our time.'
TAKE ACTION: Take the pledge to move your money to a smaller and more ethical bank on MYM's website. Their calendar feature allows you to view the various events taking place around the country and join others in the movement towards safer banking. You can also get creative and help the cause by coming up with your own ideas to spread the word and get other people involved. Don't forget to add your MYM event to their calendar and urge your community to join you in signing the pledge. Additionally, ensure you sign up for their newsletter so you can stay up to date on the activities taking place during Move Your Money month and avoid missing out on your chance to take action.
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