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

Absolutely! And I’m a firm believer of the power that people have with voting with their wallets. But this does fall down without good education available to people, so they can make informed decisions. Commonly, company ethics aren’t normally exposed to consumers (at least not unless they’re very good or very bad via the press). In addition to that: Most customers simply do not care unless they’re made to care, two quick examples being low animal welfare meat and Uber. So if Monzo customers can choose a product or service via Monzo, then I suppose the question is more what information does Monzo provide in order for the customer to make an informed decision.

I’m not at all expecting Monzo to turn ethical all of a sudden but really I suppose wondering where Monzo draws the line in the sand. How, in the example of energy companies, does it chose the companies, because something has to guide those decisions. Would it suggest a company under investigation for continued poor customer service / a company reported by Which? to have refused lowering prices despite repeated whole sale price reduction / a company invested in new coal mining operations / a company that murdered 10,000 kittens on a sunday morning that one time.
What guides the decisions. A public facing outline of some sort of ethical or CSR policy which helps to guide the decision making would be great to have.


I can’t seem to reach the blog post. Is this URL no longer working?

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Monzo has had a name change from Mondo this year. Therefore it has had a url change since that was posted. It is now at https://monzo.com/blog/2016/06/07/ethical-banking/

A certain high street bank made a point of selling its ethical banking. Turned out some of its head staff were not too ethical and all but made it insolvent.


Hi, @tristan this page need an update - All the links, emails, and Mondo etc… Are you guys working on putting together an ethical policy?
Appreciate it’s a busy time at Monzo HQ, but as Monzo is becoming the main bank for more and more people every day a lot will visit the website and basic information should be updated regularly I think…

100% agree. It’s still all valid and correct, but we do need to spruce it up :slight_smile: We’ll do that as part of the website update that’s coming soon!

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Yes valid but not entirely correct :slight_smile: your email is getmondo for example

Looking forward for website update though.

Thanks for the update. I have to say I’m a little disappointed, I love my monzo card, but my main bank is with Triodos because I like to know exactly what my money is being invested in. It would be great if the team could take the time to strongly consider how to invest people’s money ethically and show further transparency. Even if it was just a policy with aims and objectives for the future and how you might achieve them. I understand your a small team and very busy, but it would be great to show you taking the lead in this. I’d love to switch otherwise!


Do banks have the right to ‘invest’ our money?

From what I understand other than lending (i.e. overdrafts in Monzo’s case) it sits on deposit with the Bank of England.

Edit: OK, that’s the case now but does not have to be the case (just read the Transparency policy pages properly)

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Sorry if this is totally ignorant and stupid, but when it sits in the bank of England, do they lend it out?

I just meant that it would be nice if they had an ambition to lend to communities or companies which do socially good in the future.

(Sorry lend not invest, I’m trying to understand banking more, but find it very confusing!)

I closed my Starling account because they took on a contract with the government and got involved in Universal Credit. Most people on their forum didn’t care (fair enough), some were a bit mocking (thought it was an over the top reaction) and some actually tried to spin it to it being a good thing (they’re helping people on benefits) in what I thought was a rather bizarre way.

It was all a bit nuts and I was a bit surprised how many people just didn’t care.

I think what counts is how the people running the place actually feel about things and how/if they consider the potential impact or impression their actions give. Not just trying to give a good impression for maximum marketing range.

Or indeed if they think at all - I get the impression that it wasn’t even considered at Starling, it wasn’t a thing.

It would be good, if Monzo do start taking on jobs for government/industry, or investing - if there was a (public) set of rules and a process to kind of vet what they were getting involved in. Even if they end up taking stuff on that not everyone agrees with, it would be good to know that they know exactly what they’re getting involved with and exactly where they stand.


Starling just… It’s hard to put my finger on it. It’s more than the fact I can’t have an account. The lack of gender-neutral titles for a modern bank is bizarre… Starling just… something about everything with them irks me the wrong way. The Universal Credit thing, to me, just re-affirmed that feeling times 100.

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I hate being called ‘Mr’ on everything official. For no other reason than it’s so formal and old fashioned. I really like how Monzo just uses my name.

If places just got rid of the weird Mr/Mrs/Miss rubbish it’d be so much better.

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Yes and No. While it is good if those who do not want to be called Sir/Fr/Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms/Sr/Mx etc are free not to use a title there may be some who want it. Customer choice is the solution. Chose to have it or chose not to have it, but the customer chose not the bank!


Answer - let customers pick friendly name, like Monzo does. You could put Miss/whatever in there, I imagine?

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Monzo seem more flexible than other banks when it comes to your name on a card. With the latest Monzo cards there is a 23 character limit on them and they say that they “…can use those 23 characters to have any recognisable variation of your name…but…we don’t offer titles on our cards at present”

They also are happy to address you as you wish. Today in response to a customer enquiry they advised “if you ever want us to change how we refer to you you can just let us know through this chat and we’ll adjust it on our systems…You should have had the option to choose how your name appeared during the sign up from a few selected options”.

I had a free-text field, which was ideal.

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Cool. I upgraded so fast I must have blinked and missed it :wink: It asked for so little info I almost wanted it to ask more LOL

Ah, I didn’t upgrade. I was a new current account customer. Flow may have been different…

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True but it was the ONLY high street bank trying to bring to light a problem that almost every other company was turning a blind eye too.