Ethical approaches driving change

EthicsAccording to the Ethical Consumerism report, ethical spending in the UK has reached a record high – increasing fourfold in just 20 years. Where in 1999, ethical purchases per household amounted to £202, in 2018 this figure had increased to £1,278.

The largest segment of the market to benefit from this ethical approach to date is food and drink. It includes fair trade, organic, vegetarian, plant-based alternatives and free-range eggs and nets an annual spend of £12billion, an increase of £11billion since 1999.

Not far behind is the 'green home' market segment, which includes energy efficient appliances, energy efficient boilers, ethical cleaning products and green electricity tariffs. It has increased eight-fold from over £1bn 20 years ago to in excess of £10bn. 
The other consumer market segments are 'eco-travel' (£5.8 billion) and 'ethical personal products' (£1.6 billion).

Consumers flexing their spending power to reflect their concerns for the environment, animal welfare, social justice and human rights are making a real difference. Ethical consumerism is playing a key role in the pursuit of more sustainable products, businesses and markets.

But what about banking? As a customer of Al Rayan Bank, you have peace of mind that your money is invested in Sharia-compliant, ethical investments and that you have truly informed consent over our use of your money. Yet, this is not typical of the British bank customer.

An Ethical Banking YouGov survey of 2,000 adults which was commissioned by Al Rayan Bank in 2019 revealed that while 66% of Brits consider it ‘important’ for their banks and other financial institutions to operate in an ethical way, 91% didn’t know anything about where their money was being invested, only around half had even heard of ethical banking, and fewer than half of those had been offered ethical banking products.

As an Islamic bank, we understand the critical importance of being ethical and transparent about what we do with your money while we’re looking after it. We recognise and fulfil our moral responsibility to ensure that you have truly informed consent over our use of your money. In short, we honour the trust you put in us through sound ethical investment that returns a profit.

We have worked to raise the profile of ethical banking amongst our mainstream industry peers since we were founded in 2004 and we will continue to do so. Judging by both our own research findings and the Ethical Consumerism Report there is a clear desire for this approach from banking consumers throughout the UK.

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