What Makes A Bank Ethical? Mondo's Beta Ethical Thoughts

My new blog post is up that I think many will be interested in: https://getmondo.co.uk/blog/2016/06/07/ethical-banking/ I’d love to hear your thoughts :slight_smile:


Very good, nice and clear, thanks.

A related issue that would be good to know more about is your policy on personal data. You will obviously be collecting a lot of data on each of us (in the form of our spending behaviour and location/movement) which is used to power useful features of the app, and will be increasingly used as the capabilities expand. Whilst this obviously benefits us as users of the app, it would be good to know how Mondo is managing the data: where is it held, who has access to it, what protections there are from governments/external agencies, what control we have over it, etc. This is partly about ethics, partly about privacy. But it would be good to know this information, and increasingly important in today’s world!


Would be very interested in this as well!

A +1 on this one. I’m not against my data being used for certain purposes but I’d like to know what, why etc first! Most people are aware now that when they use a free service like Facebook or Twitter then it’s their data that is the product, unlike many social media companies id like to see you guys be open about this!

Even if it’s just a rough overview for example if you see that I spend enough in Starbucks every year to qualify for a Starbucks reward gold level card then would you sell my information to them to contact me and tell me this? Beneficial to me, beneficial to you, beneficial to Starbucks!


Typo: focusing, not focussing :wink:

Edit: apparently both are correct! TIL.

Great article!

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A key thing for me is that I don’t want to bank with a company that invests my money in companies that are involved in profiting from armed conflict or human rights abuses (arms companies, security companies such as G4S). I’d also be really unhappy if my bank invested my money in the fossil fuel companies such as Shell and BP that are funding climate change denial and seeking to stall meaningful action on climate change.


What makes a bank ethical…
What it does NOT what it says

I like the changelog.

Some form of “Notify me of updates” would be nice too :slight_smile:


Any details from someone in Mondo’s team about this?


Good questions! We obviously have our privacy policy which should outline how we use your data: https://getmondo.co.uk/privacy/ I agree it’d be great if we could be really clear about it though – rest assured, we’re pretty hot on protecting your privacy and data as much as we can and being clear about what we do with it. It’s on my list as my next transparency/ethics topic now :slight_smile:

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Great thanks. I did look earlier at the privacy statement but they seemed quite generic and broad. So any clarifications would be great.


Personally, I think this is where things get a bit more blurry. For instance, not buying shares in arms companies is straightforward enough, but what about government bonds? Are we (indirectly) investing in that country’s military, and is that OK? The same goes for investing in currencies.


Thanks for the reply and all of Mondo’s great work James :slight_smile:

I’m glad you agree there are some really clear cut cases. I think it’d be great if Mondo established and set out some clear red lines: arms companies, companies that have been ruled to be directly involved in human rights abuses by the UN or other independent bodies. This would need to go beyond arms companies and include companies like G4S (involved in prisons where children are tortured in Israel/Palestine) and HP (major supplier of equipment to the National Security Agency, other militaries involved in human rights abuses). With fossil fuels, it increasingly doesn’t make long term business sense to be invested.

Re government bonds/currencies: I can see how this gets a bit more difficult. UK government bonds are a sturdy investment (important for a new bank, I’m sure) and the UK does all sorts of things beyond being involved in armed conflict. But I’d probably still rather my bank didn’t do that.

But for me its one thing for my bank to invest in UK government bonds - I already pay tax that funds any of its nasty activities and in theory I can use my vote to influence its policies - but quite another for my bank to invest in government bonds of other countries that have been deemed by human rights organisations to be acting in violation of the UN Charter (US, Saudi Arabia, China, Israel, etc).

I guess what I’d really like to see Mondo do is aim to be a market leader not just in its technology (which is amazing and really helps me budget) but also in ethics. Triodos, the Charity Bank and the Co-Op, all do really well because of their ethical stances (although the Co-Op has sadly changed a lot in recent years).

If Tridos ever offered a personal current account I’d open an account because they don’t just invest ethically, they invest positively: they invest in renewable projects, social enterprises, etc.


Yeah, it’s really difficult. That’s why (personally) I think that if we can be totally transparent about where your money is invested, at least we give you the information and the ability to make that decision yourself. I totally agree with you @michaeld but it gets much more difficult when investing in something that invests in other companies (see Wonga and the Church of England!) – I’m not sure how we can solve that without a whole department just focusing on it… :frowning:

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It is a difficult subject to be all encompassing in. I personally would have no problems with Govt bonds as the Govt does plenty of good things, what I’d be more looking for is a sort of commitment that if there is a choice in investments Mondo would look to make a decision based on ethical grounds rather than straight profit. It’s a hard thing to do when every penny is important but I’d just look for Mondo to aim to be a leader in this field

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Is anyone from Mondo going to this?

That looks interesting. I might head to it!

Please do Tristan, it would be very interesting to hear your thoughts on it, on whether their ideas are valid and whether it has given you food for thought.

Don’t miss that line about free food and drink :grinning::cake:

Apparently it’s full :frowning:

I hoped you stamped your foot and did the whole “Don’t you know who I am?” Routine lol :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: