Some of the UK’s biggest high-street banks have been put in a 'red' warning category based on new analysis of their fossil fuel investments and green policies.
Consumer champion Which? examined the environmental policies of 13 of the UK’s leading current account providers with only three earning the Which? Eco Provider badge.
Which? reports that the world's 60 largest banks reportedly ploughed $669 billion into the fossil fuel industry in 2022 alone - and many UK high-street banks are among the worst culprits.
Six banks are classified in the 'red' category - JPMorgan Chase, Santander, Barclays, HSBC, NatWest and Lloyds - following Which? and Reclaim Finance (a non-profit research organisation) analysis of their fossil fuel policies - which were broadly found to be too weak - and statements on agricultural commodities such as beef, soy, timber and palm oil.
Which? researchers also considered transparency levels and whether banks had credible targets to reduce exposure to environmentally damaging sectors, and checked whether they publish independently verified data.
The three banks labelled Which? Eco Providers are Nationwide, The Co-operative Bank and Triodos. They have no exposure to fossil fuels in their banking activities.
Sam Richardson, deputy editor of Which? Money, says: “Consumers seeking to make more sustainable choices might want to consider switching banks if they are uncomfortable with their money being invested in the fossil fuel industry and other projects which could be damaging to the environment.
“By choosing one of Which?’s three Eco Providers, customers can feel confident that their bank has impressive green credentials and steers clear of investing money in coal, oil or gas.”