Ethical savings accounts no longer a costly niche product

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In the past, while laziness or loyalty to a local bank or building society may have played a part, the vast majority of consumers would have chosen a particular savings account based almost solely on the rate of return on offer.

However, while such a concern is very much still a driving force among savvy savers of all ages across the UK, Britons are also being given the opportunity to save not only a few pounds each week through their high street products, but to also do their bit towards making the world a better place.

Of course, ethical savings accounts are nothing new, with many financial institutions having been established along religious lines, or at least sufficiently clued-up to see the potential benefits of selling themselves as the good guys.

However, with mass media making the problems caused by global financing only too apparent, and ordinary people increasingly willing to make small sacrifices in the name of the greater good, ethical savings accounts are truly coming of age.

But, though it may sound simple enough to make use of such products, it's often the case that shopping around for the right solution is just as important here as it is when it comes to taking out a mortgage, or a current account, say.

Indeed, far from being 'one size fits all', modern ethical savings vehicles are as varied as every other type of mainstream financial product, and, as such, it pays to do some research.

For example, though there would be few people who would object to a policy of not investing funds in arms trading, investment in genetically-modified crops, or nuclear fuel, for example, are somewhat greyer areas, with many ethically-minded savers seeing no harm in seeing their money going into such fields, and hopefully making a tidy return for them in the process.

So, just as savers should assess the stability and likely rates of return that a prospective savings account would offer, so too should they check its policies against their own moral checklists to get a perfect fit.

Furthermore, though in the past it may have been necessary to take a hit in the wallet to do the right thing, with ethical products becoming increasingly mainstream, it should no longer be the case that having a moral say into where one's own money is invested should mean having to say goodbye to attractive interest rates.

Just as with all other products, it is imperative to be vigilant in checking rates of interest, as well as all the normal savings accounts considerations such as any minimum amounts or potential penalties while also checking a high street institution’s green credentials.

Fortunately, in the same way that banks and building societies are bringing their ethical accounts in line with the rest of their products, so too are numerous comparison websites, as well as high street advisors helping confused but well-intentioned Britons place their money where they are comfortable with it being.

This means it's never been easier to do the right thing - or harder to justify indirectly funding global strife.


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