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 Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?

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Would you like to see an ethical bank operating here?
Yes
90%
 90% [ 18 ]
No
10%
 10% [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 20
 

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PostSubject: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:26 am

I don't normally do e-petitions and such like but this one is close to my heart:

(text of an email:)

Quote :

Hello All.
You may have heard of Triodos Bank. They’re an ethical and sustainable bank originally formed in Holland in the Eighties. They’ve been operating in the UK and other EU countries for several years now but not, unfortunately, in Ireland. If you haven’t heard of them, you can find more info at http://www.triodos.co.uk

Unlike regular banks, Triodos do not get involved in complex products like derivatives etc. – the type of transactions which have brought about the global financial crisis.

Instead, they only loan to projects and ventures that are sustainable, ecological, ethical and responsible. They don’t borrow money from other banks to loan out, either. And they only loan a percentage of the money they have on deposit from their customers, to ensure they always have enough funds “in reserve”. In other words, they sound like a bank I’d like to use.

Well, today I decided that rather than sitting back and hoping that a sensible bank like this might one day start here, the only thing I could do as a first step was to ask them. So did – I sent the text of the email below to customerservices@triodos.co.uk

Naive maybe. And anyway I’m, only one person, so why would they listen to me? That’s where you come in. If you think it would be worthwhile having a bank like this in Ireland, maybe you could email them too and tell them? And maybe pass this on to your friends and family to see if they’re interested?

And who knows what will happen– I don’t. And I don’t know the intricate details of how these things operate or how banks make decisions on which countries to open in. But just maybe they can be persuaded that there’s a market for their services here.

Or maybe not. But to find out – you have to ask, don’t you?

Thanks for reading this

To: customerservices@triodos.co.uk

Are there any plans for Triodos to do business in Ireland? Or would you consider the option? There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of businesses and people in Ireland facing an uncertainty re the future of their banks, as news reports show.

Many, many of these people have had a rude awakening as to the worst aspects how the banking sector
works. They are now looking for alternatives. The nearest thing to ethical banking in Ireland is the Credit union movement (with over 2.5 million members here), but these still have to store their funds somewhere – almost always a traditional bank.

It would be huge step forward if Triodos was in a position to operate in Ireland. What would it take to make you consider? Market research? A petition? We need Triodos in Ireland!


Would anyone else here consider emailing Triodos? Or like send on this email to poeple you know? PM me if you want me to send a copy of the original email for you to forward.


Last edited by yehbut_nobut on Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:57 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:33 am

Is there a petition going ? How many names on it ? Do they really work, online petitions ?

I'd love to see an ethical and transparent bank operating in Ireland.
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:46 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Is there a petition going ? How many names on it ? Do they really work, online petitions ?

I'd love to see an ethical and transparent bank operating in Ireland.

There's no petitions as such. Everyone is just asked to email the bank and say something along the lines of "please open here!". Suggested text is at the bottom of the email.

Go on, send them a line. I did!
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:51 am

Why don't we open a poll and if there's enough in favour then I'll send them an email from machinenation@gmail.com saying this site would like an ethical bank here. They might vote for us in the Golden Spiders next year.

Would you like to edit your post to make a poll ? When you edit you scroll down a bit and you should be able to make a poll. I'll put it on the location where the Golden Spiders will be gone. Only if you want to do it yourself - I can do it no problem. My polls are usually fairly basic here though. "Would you bank at the ethical bank, Triodos if it was located here - Yes or No" ?

Feel free to suggest something else - we need a poll here to give the place a bit of life.
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:05 am

New poll on ethical banking ! It's at the left hand side or on this thread.

Do you want to know how your money is used ? Would you be a lot more content at night saying your prayers if you knew your money wasn't going to buy AK47s or landmines or funding corrupt regimes which exploit children in rotten factories and down tunnels or going to the likes of rotten corporations who turn pristine environments into Mordor ?

The world with ethical banks:


The world without :-(


Come on let's vote !
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:33 am

A halfway competent bank would be a start...

If the British Nationwide Building Society or the Co-Op Bank were here, I'd transfer everything I have immediately.

Islamic Banks tend to be fastidious about moral investment too...
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:38 am

toxic avenger wrote:
A halfway competent bank would be a start...

If the British Nationwide Building Society or the Co-Op Bank were here, I'd transfer everything I have immediately.

Islamic Banks tend to be fastidious about moral investment too...

We can generalise the poll to make it ethical banking without the corporate plug !

I've no idea what those banks you named are all about - how do you know they would be for you ?
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:51 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
A halfway competent bank would be a start...

If the British Nationwide Building Society or the Co-Op Bank were here, I'd transfer everything I have immediately.

Islamic Banks tend to be fastidious about moral investment too...

We can generalise the poll to make it ethical banking without the corporate plug !

I've no idea what those banks you named are all about - how do you know they would be for you ?

The Nationwide successfully stood alone in the de-mutualization frenzy some ten years ago or so, resisting the carpet-baggers by making it financially punitive for them should they succeed in ending mutual status. They invested responsibly, avoided the loan frenzy, avoided the hocus-pocus elements of the City, and are now better placed than virtually every other financial institution in Britain.

The Co-Op Bank, like the Co-Op movement generally, is owned by its own customers, is run responsibly, will only invest ethically (and are very fastidious about it) and are likewise surviving the current mess quite well.

If only any of our banks were anything like it...
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:55 am

Actually I just looked up the Nationwide site, they announced plans to expand to the Republic a couple of months ago, so that's where I'll be going...
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:35 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
A halfway competent bank would be a start...

If the British Nationwide Building Society or the Co-Op Bank were here, I'd transfer everything I have immediately.

Islamic Banks tend to be fastidious about moral investment too...



I saw a report that said that because of this Islamic banks are not nearly as exposed to the current banking collapse as most if not all of the others are. It might have been on Nouriel Roubini's RGE Monitor website - I'll see if I can hunt it out.

Here's a link to Triodos - interesting website. Looks kosher.

http://www.triodos.co.uk/

Our response to the financial crisis




Triodos Bank’s CEO, Peter Blom, explains how the bank remains buoyant despite the international banking crisis.
“Triodos Bank is a fully independent bank and a pioneer of sustainable and transparent banking. Our mission is to make money work for positive social, environmental and cultural change. Triodos Bank is a solid bank, both in terms of our ethical approach to finance and also by widely recognised objective criteria. The strength of a bank can be determined by three key indicators: solvency, liquidity and the quality of assets. When all three are applied to Triodos Bank, they show there’s no doubt that we are a healthy bank, able to serve our customers properly and well prepared for growth.
“For Triodos Bank, banking has always been a matter of trust, transparency and a long-term relationship with our savers and borrowers. A bank is responsible for the money entrusted to it by its depositors. By lending to businesses and projects that are sustainable financially, as well as socially and environmentally, we balance a positive impact on society with a healthy financial return.
“A bank is, or should be, an organisation that brings two groups of people together - depositors and borrowers, people who have money to spare and people who need it. A bank adds its knowledge and expertise. If you move away from that basic principle, and allow the pressure for ever increasing profits and bonuses to force you into an abstract world of derivatives and structured products, you lose sight of what is virtual and what is real. That is what happened in banking. And it’s the exact opposite of what Triodos Bank stands for.”
Strong Solvency
Solvency represents a bank's long-term ability to meet its financial obligations, reflected by the strength of its capital base. Triodos Bank’s solvency is very strong, with a regulatory capital ratio of 15.1%, well above the required minimum of 8%.
Good Liquidity
Liquidity represents a bank’s ability to access sufficient funding to meet its financial obligations toward its customers. Triodos Bank’s funding is very strong and stable as it is based on widely-spread savings and deposits from over 150,000 customers. Because of this, Triodos Bank has no need to borrow from other banks, leaving Triodos independent from volatile capital markets. Triodos Bank’s liquidity position is very healthy, as only 65% of its funding is invested in loans, with the balance kept available for liquidity.
High Quality Assets
The quality of assets such as the loans and investments made by a bank is the third important indicator. Since its foundation in 1980, Triodos Bank has consistently invested directly in projects and businesses, while establishing a close relation with the people and understanding their underlying activities. By doing this Triodos Bank has built a high quality loan book with a very good track record. Triodos Bank has never invested in structured products, such as mortgage or other asset backed securities, or complex financial constructions based on derivatives. We have always considered those products too abstract and far away from the real economy and Triodos Bank’s mission.

Deposit Guarantee Scheme
Triodos Bank NV is a member of the Dutch deposit guarantee scheme. The scheme guarantees a maximum of €100,000 (approximately £77,700) per person per institution, regardless of the number of accounts. Where two people have a joint account, both account holders can claim payment under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme. The maximum joint deposit covered is €200,000.
More information
Click here to find out about Triodos Bank's performance in 2008.
Click here for information on the Deposit Guarentee Scheme.
Or to find out what the press has said about Triodos Bank and the credit crunch, click here to read an interview with UK Managing Director Charles Middleton from The Guardian newspaper.


Last edited by Aragon on Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:51 pm

As promised:

Quote :

The fall of giants in the world financial sector like Lehman Brothers in the aftermath of the US sub-prime mortgage crisis, we need to be strict about credit rating system to restrain chances of any further bankruptcy. Interestingly, since Islamic banking adheres to strict credit rating system and disallows indebted economic agents to avail more debt finance, it could save our financial and economic enterprises from bankruptcy.

Interest is strictly prohibited in Islamic banking and principles of equity finance disallow financing the indebted enterprises, the chances of bankruptcy considerably decline. Under Islamic banking since equity finance need pre-rating analysis of projects after reviewing cost yield analysis, it tends to reject the economically weaker. Islamic banking principles thus reduces the throat cut competition in financial sector to get more credit shares and tends to provide stability in the financial market.

Since principle of Islamic equity finance allows the banks to recover the assets by right of ownerships, it would be fairer on the part of financial institutions to recover assets in case of any bankruptcy or crisis, which may not be found in interest-based lending by SCBs and financial institutions because in later case the lender have no right over assets financed to debtors. Thus to strengthen the stability in financial sector and avoid chances of bankruptcy, the system of Islamic equity finance should be promoted through Islamic banking instead of raising scope for throat cut competition among banks and financial institutions by compromising lending rates to attract more credit shares.

It would be interesting in part of the financial sector reform to evaluate the credit rating system adopted by our conventional credit rating agencies and the practices adopted by Islamic bankers and financial institutions in the international financial market. It would certainly help us improvise our rating system to prevent any bankruptcy in future.

RGE Monitor is a great website on the whole banking sitch for anyone who ain't yet come across it - Roubini is the guy who predicted the catalclysm several years ago (others did too but he was closest to identifying how it would actually happen). Naturally, he was laughed out of court for his pains. In the US the money guys scarcely make a move now without checking to see what he's thinking. He's in big demand:

The man himself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nouriel_Roubini

The Islamic banking report - I'm pretty sure this isnt the original one I saw - full text above - but there may be links to more info here:

http://www.rgemonitor.com/us-monitor/253790/islamic_banking_restrains_bankruptcy
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:54 pm

The islamic system sounds interesting, though I know next to nothing about it.

I'd prefer to know that they deal with things like the arms industry, or companies with links to dodgy human rights regimes Etc. And also Id want to ask if they have sustainable/ecological principles?

That would be the main thing that would get me to switch. (PS has anyone else sent an email on, per above?)
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:22 pm

I've been banging on about ethical banks in various fora. I even managed to get myself banned from AAM in the process. cheers
I'm delighted to see a thread on it here. The world of banking is a very very murky place. Here are a couple of links if anyone is interested.

Bank Secrets This is an interactive website showing some of the dodgy investments that banks are involved in.

Ace Bank the Video (in 2 parts) This is a documentary about a bank that was opened on a high street in Belgium which claimed to be completely transparent. I won't give away too much but worth a watch.

I have been making some enquiries about ethical investments in Ireland. Dolmen Stockbrokers have a fund called The Green Effects Fund. I have reservations about some of the companies listed on though.
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:43 pm

Did ye vote on the ethical banks yet ?


Great links Aragon and floatingingalway - must mull over them later. Amazing idea that the Islamic banks don't charge interest but as cactus says they 'take a stake' in the business. Sounds like a big resource-drain but kind of more natural than the system we have.

Banks here tend to be in a ahem bubble apart from the normal economy and not as directly plugged into it as they perhaps are in the case of ethical or islamic banks. Or maybe banks here used to have more of a direct role when we had specific lending crowds - ACC, EBS and whatever which focused on a specialised business.

Our society is becoming more and more specialised however, so perhaps it's more difficult for banks to be experts in everything but on the other hand, maybe they need to start thinking about how to get around that.
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:01 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
Actually I just looked up the Nationwide site, they announced plans to expand to the Republic a couple of months ago, so that's where I'll be going...

You think it's still on the cards?
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:12 pm

Well, they haven't said they're not doing it. Yet...
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:32 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
Well, they haven't said they're not doing it. Yet...

What's so attractive about Nationwide from your experience, toxic ?
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:42 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
Well, they haven't said they're not doing it. Yet...

What's so attractive about Nationwide from your experience, toxic ?

They refused to submit to the demutualisation carpet-baggers, fought them all the way on principle and beat them. They refused to end mutual status in favour of the quick buck. The others building societies fell to greed, and most are now in trouble. Nationwide have invested and lent sensibly, are now in a much healthier position than most financial institutions in Britain, and remain committed to mutual status. Advice is independent. They also encourage specific investments that are ethical. Compared to most banks, they are the definition of honourable.

The Co-Op Bank is also a favourite, they even get into trouble for being very pernickety about ethical investment. Like the Co-Op movement generally, they are owned by their customers, everyone gets a dividend. They are also doing relatively well at the moment, having been equally responsible in investment and lending.
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:17 pm

A little of of morning reading material folks. Ciaran Cuffe and ethical investments
Quote :
"Financial advisers say that every investment carries risk and that you must choose a level of risk that allows you sleep at night. The same applies with ethical investments. You can find ethical difficulties with any companies if you look hard enough." Nevertheless, some companies fall foul of all ethical tests and the Greens have taken issue at the presence of tobacco, oil and armaments stocks in the National Pension Reserve Fund. "This fund is investing our money with no ethical criteria whatsoever, " says Cuffe.
Thoughts?
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:27 pm

Here's another one for you
It's not the most user friendly site but it's interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:54 pm

floatingingalway wrote:
Here's another one for you
It's not the most user friendly site but it's interesting.

That looks like an excellent site at a cursory glance. Is it kept up to date, is it independent ? I'm going to try to root around in it later - there's absolutely tons of stuff in there - great job.

On Ciaran Cuffe - I'd agree in principle but I'd wonder about the practicalities of this. How do you really know your money time effort is not going to enslave children in Burma ? That is why I like local stuff that you can see and touch and preferably that you can make yourself out of preferably renewable or natural materials. However, it may not always be the most efficient thing to source and create local materials so we have to resort to the use of imports, trade etc. Trouble might be in judging what exactly is ethical. If you believe CO2 damages the climate then you might want to avoid CO2-producing stuff but if you don't believe it does then you should be free to make that decision.

Like all these things there is perhaps a specturm of intensity of belief in what is ethical or not. Another useful thing is the labelling of products to show not only their ingredients but the water use involved, their fairtrade value, cther constituents etc. And let people decide.
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:26 pm

I particularly love this one from a news item on the BBC website - labelling eco-costs


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7604996.stm

It's kind of similar to the A,B,C,D,E etc. ratings on energy appliances which allow the consumers to judge for themselves. It's also very simple and intelligible and of course recognisable.
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:25 pm

I've just recieved a brochure from Triodos in the post. I have emailed them to ask about setting up account as an Irish resident. Will keep you all posted
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:57 pm

floatinggalway,

let me know how you got on.
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PostSubject: Re: Would you like to see an ethical bank operating in Ireland?   Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:29 pm

floatingingalway wrote:
I've just recieved a brochure from Triodos in the post. I have emailed them to ask about setting up account as an Irish resident. Will keep you all posted

Great! have you asked anyone else to express their interest? Hopefully lots of other people are doing the same. Remember something like this can only work if a significant "critical mass" of people make their interest known. After that it's up to the the banks board to make a strategic decision on whether to enter the market here.

so spread the word!!!
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