NEWS: Banking giants at bottom of ethics pile, says survey

High street banks Midland and Barclays have come bottom in a survey of the ethical credentials of top corporate donors.

High street banks Midland and Barclays have come bottom in a survey of

the ethical credentials of top corporate donors.



The banks each clocked up 14 negative indicators in a survey of the

environmental and social records of leading donors, carried out by

Ethical Consumer magazine.



The magazine, which put Reuters at the top of the green table, assessed

such factors as a company’s links with pollutants, its involvement in

nuclear energy and its stance towards oppressive regimes.



The report suggests some companies make corporate donations in an

attempt to ‘greenwash’ their image, rather than because of genuine

conviction and warns that links with such companies can affect

charities.



‘The recent bad publicity Shell has been receiving regarding, first

Brent Spar and then its operations in Nigeria, has had reverberations

among the many recipients of its corporate largesse,’ it argues.



To avoid such pitfalls it suggests charities use ethical data to screen

potential donors.



‘Even though we operate in an imperfect world it is still possible to

make ethical choices and distinctions from among potential sponsors,’ it

adds.



After Reuters, the highest-rating ethical performers among the top

donors were BT with four critical indicators and British Gas and BA with

five. At the bottom, NatWest had 12 negative references.



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