Unhappy with your bank? Here are some ethical options in Australia

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Looking for some of Australia's most ethical banking options? We look at:

As always, do your own research to find out whether or not your banking products align with your morals.

More and more Australians are looking for ethical bank options, but knowing where to start can be a challenge. To help you go green and bank with your moral compass, we’ve compiled a selection of the most ethical banks and environmentally sustainable banking products.

Bank Australia

Bank Australia stands out when it comes to responsible investing, making it a core part of their business model and public image. The bank only lends to industries that advance social and environmental causes, meaning things like firearms, tobacco, fossil fuels and live animal exports are strictly off limits. 

Its Clean Energy Home Loan also rewards customers that plan to buy a home that meets a high standard of energy efficiency. If your home ticks the right boxes, you might be eligible for a 0.30% p.a. discount for up to five years.

Teachers Mutual Bank

Another banking institution with their ethics in check is Teachers Mutual Bank, which has been recognised as one of the world’s most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute for eight years straight. This year, it was one of only five banks across the world to earn a place on the list.

It’s also the only Australian bank to receive Certification from the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia for all retail products deposits, mortgages and wholesale funding. As Teachers Mutual CEO, Steve James says, “Every single mortgage product we sell is socially responsible at no extra cost to our members.”

UBank Green Term Deposit

UBank has been spending a lot of time listening to their customers, and they’ve learned that climate change ranks pretty high on their list of priorities. We want green banks and environmentally sustainable practices!

That’s why their new Green Term Deposit is so appealing. Stash your savings in this one and an equal amount of funds will be set aside for investing in climate-friendly projects, like wind and solar energy, and low carbon transport and buildings. 

CommBank 0.99% Green Loan

Recently, CBA announced it will be launching the CommBank Green Loan to help Australians install eligible small-scale renewable technologies in their home. With energy costs soaring, increasing amounts of customers are growing interested in alternative and green energy sources. This option will be available to CommBank home loan and investment home loan customers, and will sport a low 0.99% p.a. secured fixed rate - helping to make renewable energy more accessible.

BankFirst Green Personal Loan & Police Bank Green Loan

A few more banks offer green banking products at reduced rates for personal loans to make your home more environmentally friendly. These include the Bank First Green Personal Loan, which comes with a 7.25% p.a. interest rate (8.59% p.a. comparison rate*), and the Police Bank Green Loan, which comes with a 6.49% p.a. interest rate (6.63% p.a. comparison rate*). Access funds without sacrificing your ethics with these options.

Defence Bank Foundation Credit Card

The Defence Bank Foundation Visa Card pairs value with a great cause. Not only does it come with an introductory purchase rate of 3.99% p.a. (available for 6 months before reverting to 8.99% p.a.), half of the $45 annual fee goes to the Defence Bank Foundation.

Add to your ethical portfolio with this important cause - an independent organisation which provides mental health support to current and former Australian Defence Force members. It does this through the Defence Community Dogs program, which rescues abandoned dogs and trains them to assist Veterans experiencing PTSD, depression and anxiety. 

loans.com.au Green Home Loan

If you are thinking of buying a green home, you may qualify for a discounted home loan. With the Green Home Loan from loans.com.au you can get rates starting at 2.63% p.a. (3.05% p.a. comparison rate*) if your home has a 7-star or higher Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme rating and has been built in the last 12 months. Help adding to a more sustainable future by building an environmentally friendly home, all with ethically sourced financial backing.

loans.com.au Clean Green Car Loan

If you’re looking to buy a green car (one of those all-the-rage electric vehicles), you could be eligible for a car loan at a reduced rate. For example, the Clean Green Car Loan from loans.com.au offers rates of 3.64% p.a. (4.18% p.a. comparison rate*) if your car qualifies as a green vehicle i.e. it emits CO2 at a much lower rate than the average vehicle of its size.

Bendigo Bank Community Saver Account

Bendigo Bank might currently boast 1.9 million customers, but its commitment to the community hasn’t wavered since its early days. Case in point, the Bendigo Bank Community Saver Account lets you support a local initiative while growing your savings at the same time.

The organisations you can choose from include Oxfam Australia, Royal Children's Hospital Foundation Victoria, and St Johns Ambulance South Australia. Having your pick of charitable organisation brings a personal feel to this ethical option. As your balance earns interest, a percentage will be donated to your nominated organisation.

Community First Credit Union McGrath Pink Visa

The McGrath Pink Visa comes with a low purchase rate of 8.99% and up to 55 interest free days, but that’s not why it’s on this list. Each year that you hold the card, Community First Credit Union will donate half of the $40 annual fee to the McGrath Foundation, which provides breast care nurses to women with breast cancer across Australia.

RELATED: Top Green Home Loans in Australia | A Guide to Ethical Banking

Financial Burrito Podcast: Ethical Banking and Superfunds

Interested in learning more about ethical finance? Plug in your headphones and listen to The Finance Burrito Podcast's deep dive into the most ethical banks and green super fund options in Australia which you can find below.

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