There are many ways to complain about your bank’s role in financing fossil fuels and join the millions demanding an end to bankrolling the climate crisis. But if you feel you’ve exhausted all the options, moving your account to a more responsible bank can make a big statement.
As a customer, you’ll have far more influence over Barclays, HSBC or any of the other UK banks that are still funding more oil, coal and gas. Banks want to keep their customers happy so adding your voice to thousands of others demanding an end to their role in fossil fuels will be all the more powerful.
However, if you feel you’ve done all you can, closing your account can be a last resort. Money from personal accounts isn’t directly used to provide corporate finance – following the financial crisis in 2008, UK banks have had to separate their consumer and corporate divisions. But moving your money will still have an impact, particularly if you tell your bank why you’ve decided to switch.
Here’s what you need to do if you decide to move your account.
1. Use SwitchIt to find out if your bank is still investing in fossil fuel companies (hint: it probably is). The site can also suggest alternative banks that won’t invest in fossil fuels, and have policies on a range of other environmental and social issues.
2. Closing your account will only have an impact if you let your old bank know why you’re taking your business elsewhere. They might ask for feedback or, if not, drop their customer service department a line to explain you don’t want to be associated with a bank that backs fossil fuels. Suggest they switch instead to funding green industries that provide secure jobs and clean energy.
3. Share your decision on social media. Tell everyone why you’ve made the move and how easy it was to do. Your personal experience can help inspire other people to switch banks as well.
Want to do more? There are plenty more ways to get Barclays, HSBC and other banks out of the fossil fuels game.