Sunit Bagree works in the not-for-profit sector, so he understands the difficulties faced by smaller charities and social enterprises when it comes to accessing finance.
Sunit, who lives in London, believes that ethical finance needs to become the norm, and has several ethical investments, including a Charity Bank Ethical Cash ISA.
“I first heard of Charity Bank when I was researching ethical savings accounts a few years ago. I try to live ethically but didn’t feel that my personal investments were really reflecting that. So I decided to take action.
“Ethical finance is a complex subject. Take the idea of screening – the arms trade and tobacco industry are clearly sectors to avoid investing in. Other sectors are more contentious – bio-technology for example. I’d feel uncomfortable if one of my investments was supporting genetic modification, but I’m fine with other aspects of bio-technology. So screening out whole sectors can be problematic.
“I have a few different ethical finance accounts. The fact that Charity Bank specialises in charities and social enterprises was a big draw for me. Austerity means there’s greater demand placed on charities and not-for-profits, but they’re getting less money from the public. Working in the sector, I know how difficult it can be for smaller organisations, in particular, to raise funds. Charity Bank is helping to fill that gap, so it has a really important role.
“A lot of organisations can be too London-centric, but Charity Bank clearly engages with a wide range of charities and causes across the whole of the country.
“I would love for ethical investment to become the norm in this country. Charities need to come together to challenge the government. It’s the 10 year anniversary of the global economic crisis, but what lessons have really been learnt? People have short memories; how do we avoid a return to the business-as-usual actions that got us into this mess?”
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