Ethical Banking

“The rise of ethical alternatives? - Triodos, Monzo etc”

This is an agenda item for the gathering of members of the CUEB - the Customers Union for Ethical Banking - in Manchester this Saturday. CUEB is an offshoot of the “Save Our Bank” campaign that set up by disgruntled customers of the Cooperative Bank when that institution lost its way.
Good to see people keen on ethical banking are seeing value in Monzo.

Triodos application is dire with original IDs or copies certified by a bank or main post office and an original utility bill posted to them thru the mail and it takes ages. Smacks of legacy bank thru and thru

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I can smell so much rust just by looking at their website. But at least the username/password login is a proper text field which means password managers shouldn’t have an issue with it.

While I can’t find it anywhere on their website (probably buried in T&Cs somewhere) there’s a good chance their pricing model is legacy as well, so a “free” account but charging through the nose for stuff like foreign payments, rejected DD’s, etc. I’m definitely not impressed.

That login screen though :upside_down_face:


Yeah that’s meh but at least the username/password part is no-bullshit, assuming they let you actually use a secure password and it’s not something like 6 digits maximum.

According to their tariffs (the fact it’s buried in a PDF instead of being right on the homepage is a red flag itself):

Foreign debit card usage
We will take these charges on the day that the transactions appear on your account. Charges will be taken in GBP using the exchange rate set by Mastercard.
Non-sterling transaction fee for card payments - 2.50% of the value
Non-sterling transaction fee for cash - 2.50% of the value

Unpaid Direct Debits, Standing Orders and cheques.
Payments you authorise from your account that are returned unpaid due to insuf cient funds. (A monthly cap applies to unpaid fees. See page 2 for details) - £5

Stopped cheques - Cheques issued by you that you ask us to stop. - £10
Same day Electronic Funds Transfer within the UK (CHAPS) - £20

Finally something I haven’t ever seen in other banks:

Tracing lost funds - When you request us to trace funds we have sent but have not arrived at the requested bank account owing to errors in your instructions. - £25

In conclusion I’m not really sure what’s “ethical” about this bank. Everything screams scam and ripoff more than ethics. They might be ethical in other ways but I’m not sure anyone should care about that if they are happy ripping off their customers - I definitely wouldn’t. Ethics should be a nice add-on, not a trade-off where they are ethical in some ways and scammers in other ways.

Also after a search on their website it appears there is no FSCS protection but something equivalent provided by the Dutch government. This could potentially make it harder and more timely to get your money back should something go wrong.

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What they invest in / lend money to


Many foreign banks in UK are covered by their home country cover of €100,000.00 instead of the FCSC £85,000 cover. These deposit protection schemes are EU wide and the FCSC scheme is the UK’s enactment of those European regulations. Your money is just as well protected be the scheme Dutch, German, Swedish or UK. For those aware of the Temporary High Balance cover of FCSC such cover is also provided by the other national schemes. Why claiming under the Dutch scheme would be any more hassle than claiming thru the UK burocracy that I can not understand.

Would it be any different/harder to get your money back under those foreign protections versus FSCS? To be honest either way I haven’t had a bank go bankrupt on me so I don’t know the procedure in either case but IMO it would be more straightforward to get your money back with FSCS vs a foreign equivalent.

As an example the German scheme administrators will accept applications with claim details provided in English. There is no requirement to translate it into German for submission. Their staff also repond to correspondence sent in English with English language replies. They also have proceedures for handling claims under joint accounts (which like UK have higher cover limit than a sole account)

I’ve just read the below article - then immediately closed my Starling account as I don’t want to deal with a company that has anything to do with Universal Credit.

So now I’m all in with Monzo! Really hope @tom and co don’t fail on the ethics side. I really don’t want to have to go back to Co-op and their terrible terrible app and website, or Nationwide and their good but boring-ness!


I do like it when people take political stances like this, whether or not I agree with the stance or there politics.

I remember being disappointed that I was unable to boycott Starbucks over their tax policies because I was already boycotting them because their coffee tasted like warm mud :grinning: