Co-op gets stricter after blocking £1bn in loans on ethical grounds

Author: Phillip Inman, Guardian [UK], Published on: 2 February 2009

The Co-op bank has adopted stricter rules on lending to firms involved in…environmental damage after demands from customers to extend its ethical banking policy…Oil companies that dig tar sands [will be barred from borrowing from the bank]…Last year [the bank] passed the total of £1bn in rejected loans since its ethical policy was launched 17 years ago…David Anderson, the bank's chief executive, said more than 80,000 customers responded to a survey asking them for their views on the bank's ethical policy. Most customers wanted the bank to refuse loans to oppressive regimes. Next on the list were companies that damaged the environment by extracting and producing fossil fuels, followed by companies that sold arms to oppressive regimes.

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Related companies: Co-operative Bank (part of Co-operative Group) Co-operative Group