8 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before ProfitImage by Beneficial State Bank#sociallyresponsiblebanks #bestsociallyresponsiblebanks #ethicalbanks #ethicalbanking #banksgonegreen #sustainablejungle
Image by Beneficial State Bank
8 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before ProfitImage by Aspiration#sociallyresponsiblebanks #bestsociallyresponsiblebanks #ethicalbanks #ethicalbanking #banksgonegreen #sustainablejungle
Image by Aspiration

9 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before Profit

Jenny Bell

Let’s talk cheddar, dough, cabbage, bones, paper, and greenbacks. AKA MONEY, honey…. and socially responsible banks.

When you put your hard-earned money into a bank, it doesn’t just sit there—it’s either lent or invested. For most big names in banking, profits take priority, which should lead us to wonder about the ethical issues in banking. 

Conventional banks invest your money into what makes them money, which can include arms trading, nuclear weapons, and fossil fuels. They also rarely focus on financial inclusion, leaving disadvantaged individuals without banking options.

Fortunately, they’re not your only options if you’re looking for banks that are socially responsible, and while breaking up with your existing bank can be a pain, by doing so, you’ll be supporting your local community and our planet.

Everything we recommend to you on Sustainable Jungle is independently researched and we ask all brands to confirm their claims. To avoid waste, we test products on an as needed basis. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission. Learn more about why we do this here.

The Best Socially Responsible Banks & Ethical Banking Alternatives For Do-Good Finance

Aspiration helps customers plant trees and offset their car travel emissions while providing a fair and transparent fee model. 

You can add Beneficial State Bank to your list of green banks. They’re Fossil-Free certified and you’ll find their Seattle branch inside the world’s greenest commercial building. 

For ethical banking in the UK, Triodos is an award-winning bank creating positive change through investing in a whole range of cultural, environmental, and social projects.

1. Aspiration

8 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before Profit Images by Aspiration #sociallyresponsiblebanks #bestsociallyresponsiblebanks #ethicalbanks #ethicalbanking #banksgonegreen #sustainablejungle
Images by Aspiration

Products: Online spend-and-save plans, investment, and Individual Retirement Accounts.

Fees: No monthly fees on standard accounts. Instead, you have the option to ‘Pay What Is Fair.’ Aspiration Plus costs $5.99/month (billed annually) or $7.99/month (billed monthly).

Credentials: 1% for the Planet member, Climate Neutral Certified.

About Aspiration

Online banking alternative Aspiration puts customers and the planet first with its transparent Pay What Is Fair fee model. 10% of the fee you decide on is donated to environmental nonprofits supporting climate action.

None of your money will be used to fund the fossil fuel industry, and all Aspiration users can enable Plant Your Change, where you can round up purchases to the nearest dollar to plant a climate-change-fighting tree.

Wondering how you can reduce your carbon footprint from travel? With Aspiration Plus, Aspiration will automatically offset the carbon dioxide from every gallon of gas you purchase as part of their Planet Protection program.

Please note: Mission Financial Partners, a financial technology company, operates Aspiration’s financial products. The Aspiration Spend & Save Accounts are checking and savings accounts offered through Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC.

2. Beneficial State Bank

8 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before Profit Images by Beneficial State Bank #sociallyresponsiblebanks #bestsociallyresponsiblebanks #ethicalbanks #ethicalbanking #banksgonegreen #sustainablejungle
Images by Beneficial State Bank

Products: Personal and business accounts (savings, checking, loans, and credit cards) as well as nonprofit accounts and loans.

Fees: Checking accounts range from $0 to $10 a month and savings accounts from $5 a month. Fees are waived for students, service people, and those over 55 or if a minimum balance is maintained. All fees are reduced by $2 a month when you opt for electronic statements. 

Credentials: Certified B Corp, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Fossil-Free Certified by Bank.Green, and Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) member.

About Beneficial State Bank

Beneficial State Bank is a community development bank designed to empower changemakers. Committed to “the triple-bottom-line of people, planet, and prosperity for all,” at least 75% of loans support initiatives like affordable housing and clean energy.

Their Seattle branch is housed in the Bullitt Center— the world’s greenest commercial building. 

3. Sunrise Banks

8 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before Profit Images by Sunrise Bank #sociallyresponsiblebanks #bestsociallyresponsiblebanks #ethicalbanks #ethicalbanking #banksgonegreen #sustainablejungle
Images by Sunrise Bank

Products: Personal banking (checking, savings, credit cards, IRAs, and loans), business banking, commercial lending, government lending (New Markets Tax Credits & SBA lending), and fintech partnerships. 

Fees: Personal checking accounts from $0 to $10 per month (waived by meeting monthly qualifications). The statement fee of $4.95 is waived if you sign up for electronic statements. 

Credentials: Certified B Corp, CFDI, and GABV member.

About Sunrise Banks

Named a “Best for the World” B Corp for nine years in a row, Sunrise Banks is one of the most socially responsible banks. It serves Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, Sioux Falls, and South Dakota, where they work to empower communities through volunteer efforts, partnerships, and donations and give a minimum of 2% of their net income to worthy causes.

Sunrise Banks has also joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) to measure its carbon impact and aims to be net zero by 2050.

4. Amalgamated Bank

8 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before Profit Images by Amalgamated Bank #sociallyresponsiblebanks #bestsociallyresponsiblebanks #ethicalbanks #ethicalbanking #banksgonegreen #sustainablejungle
Images by Amalgamated Bank

Products: Personal banking (checking, savings, credit cards, loans, mortgages), commercial banking (checking, savings, treasury management, credit cards, lending), and institutional investing. 

Fees: $0-$3 for personal checking accounts

Eco/Ethical Credentials: Certified B Corp and GABV member.

About Amalgamated Bank

Amalgamated Bank was made for change-makers. For over a century, they’ve championed important issues like workers’ rights, financial inclusion, affordable housing, LGBTQ+ rights, criminal justice, reproductive rights, gun safety, and immigrant rights. 

Committed to tackling the climate crisis, they power their offices with 100% renewable energy and have set Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) validated targets.

5. Spring Bank

8 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before Profit Images by Spring Bank #sociallyresponsiblebanks #bestsociallyresponsiblebanks #ethicalbanks #ethicalbanking #banksgonegreen #sustainablejungle
Images by Spring Bank

Products: Personal banking (checking, savings, lending, mobile banking), business banking (loans, checking, small business lending), and nonprofit banking.

Fees: Zero maintenance fee options for checking accounts. 

Credentials: Certified B Corp, CDFI

About Spring Bank

Spring Bank is New York’s first B Corp bank and was named a Best For The World in 2022 for the Governance and Customers categories. They are committed to investing in low and moderate-income communities in the South Bronx and Harlem.

Designated as a Community Development Financial Institution, its innovative depository and loan products support unbanked and underbanked consumers so they don’t end up in cycles of debt. It also provides capital and services to help small businesses get off the ground.

Following in the footsteps of other green banks, Spring Bank has been Carbon Neutral-certified since 2018. They never invest in the fossil fuel industry and regularly support local environmental nonprofits.

6. Mascoma

9 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before ProfitImages by Mascoma Bank#sociallyresponsiblebanks #bestsociallyresponsiblebanks #ethicalbanks #ethicalbanking #banksgonegreen #sustainablejungle
Images by Mascoma Bank

Products: Personal banking (checking, savings, CDs, IRAs, loans, and mortgages), business banking, investment, private banking, and trust services.

Fees: Monthly fees for checking accounts range from $5 to $14.99, but these may be waived if certain requirements are met. (See individual account options for details).

Credentials: Certified B Corp

About Mascoma

Mascoma is another B Corp-certified bank on a mission to support communities. Along with the Mascoma Bank Foundation, it has donated over $11.4 million to local nonprofits in the past five years, including $125,000 to health care and $63,000 to environmental projects. 

Mascoma Community Development (MCD) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mascoma Bank that uses the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program to support low-income communities and individuals. 

Over half of the bank’s board members are women, and their CoAlign resource group educates team members on DEI issues. 

7. Triodos Bank

8 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before Profit Images by Triodos #sociallyresponsiblebanks #bestsociallyresponsiblebanks #ethicalbanks #ethicalbanking #banksgonegreen #sustainablejungle
Images by Triodos

Products: Personal banking (checking, savings, bonds, investments), business banking (loans, capital raising), charity banking (loans, capital raising), and institutional investing. 

Fees: £3/month for a personal current account. 

Credentials: Certified B Corp, founding member of GABV and PCAF, member of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), British Bank Awards for Best Ethical Financial Provider 2023, and Ethical Consumer Best Buy Label.

About Triodos Bank

Award-winning Triodos has over 740,000 customers across the UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and Germany. 

Transparency is key for ethical banking options, which is why Triodos publishes the details of who it finances. Customers can see firsthand how their money influences positive change across the cultural, environmental, and social sectors. Social projects they support include youth centers, employment programs, housing associations, homeless services, and more.

8. The Co-operative Bank

8 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before Profit Images by The Co-operative Bank #sociallyresponsiblebanks #bestsociallyresponsiblebanks #ethicalbanks #ethicalbanking #banksgonegreen #sustainablejungle
Images by The Co-operative Bank

Products: Personal banking (loans, savings, credit cards, insurance, mortgages), business banking (accounts, saving, lending), and charity accounts.

Fees: No fees for a standard current account. An Everyday Extra account (with phone insurance, travel insurance, and breakdown cover) costs £15 per month. 

Credentials: Rated as the UK’s best Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) high street bank by Sustainalytics

About The Co-operative Bank

For over 150 years, the UK’s Co-operative Bank has provided customers with value-driven, ethical banking. 

Their customer-led Ethical Policy is regularly updated to reflect the issues their customers feel strongly about and covers three pillars of people, planet, and community. They only provide services to businesses that align with their values and conduct an ethical screening process for all new business customers. 

In 2023, they donated and raised over £1.5 million for charitable causes and partnered with various nonprofits, including Friends of the Earth and Shelter. You can read more in their latest sustainability report. 

Note that the Co-operative Bank is not actually a co-operative, as it is now owned by private equity, including hedge funds. Its ethics are being safeguarded by the Customer Union for Ethical Banking who hope there will be a future return to majority co-operative ownership. 

9. Starling Bank

8 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before Profit Images by Starling Bank #sociallyresponsiblebanks #bestsociallyresponsiblebanks #ethicalbanks #ethicalbanking #banksgonegreen #sustainablejungle
Images by Starling Bank

Products: Personal banking (including teens and kids), business banking (including lending), and sole trader accounts. 

Fees: There are no fees for current accounts. 

Credentials: Founder member of the TechZero climate action group and the first UK digital bank to join the PCAF. 

About Starling Bank

Opening an account with this app-based bank is a completely digital experience. And with over 4.2 million bank accounts, woman-founded Starling Bank is one of the top socially responsible internet banks, not to mention one of the most eco-friendly.

Their debit cards are made from recycled plastic, they plant thousands of trees every month, they run their offices on renewable energy, and they’re on their way to becoming NetZero. Talk about banks going green!

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8 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before Profit Image by Aspiration #sociallyresponsiblebanks #bestsociallyresponsiblebanks #ethicalbanks #ethicalbanking #banksgonegreen #sustainablejungle
8 Socially Responsible Banks Putting Purpose Before Profit Images by Starling Bank #sociallyresponsiblebanks #bestsociallyresponsiblebanks #ethicalbanks #ethicalbanking #banksgonegreen #sustainablejungle

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