8 Questions to Ask Your Bank in 2022

Is your bank helping or hurting the planet? Here's how to find out.

BY Sam Laird Bank of the West

Apr 5th 2022

If you care about climate change and sustainability, shouldn’t the bank you choose share those values?

Let’s say you compost, volunteer with an environmental organization, and drive a hybrid car to work. Then you deposit your paycheck in the bank. Did you know your bank might be undoing all your environmental good deeds? Here’s how.

Banks use deposits to finance things—some of which may be harmful to the environment. The four biggest U.S. banks, for example, are the among the biggest funders of the dirtiest fossil fuel activities, like fracking, tar sands and Arctic drilling.

That’s why more people are moving their money to banks that support the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources. The choice is simple: Do you want your money in the bank to fuel climate change, or do you want your money to help the planet?

90% of all bank deposits from customers like you are used to fund  mortgages and small business loans … or … fracking, tar sands, and Arctic drilling.”

With that in mind, here are eight questions sustainability-minded people should ask a bank—and why those questions matter.

Tip: To get your answers, look at a bank’s website, ask customer service, DM them on Twitter, or just walk into a branch. A bank committed to positive change will have its values infused in everything they do.

8 Questions to Ask Your Bank If You Care About Climate

Seek Answers If You Care About Climate

Picking the right bank isn’t hard. Banks that care about the planet ought to have information about where they stand on their website, or in their branches. Just ask the right questions. And seek answers that are right for you, and for our planet.

Author image

Sam Laird Bank of the West

Sam joined Bank of the West in 2019 after more than 10 years in journalism. He’s also worked as a teacher, a grant writer, and a janitor, and prefers to spend his free time in nature.

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