Why $100 is worth more at Bank Aus­tralia.

The Saturday Paper - - Contents | The Week -

Money.

It’s a topic that most of us feel awk­ward to have a con­ver­sa­tion about.

But we must.

For you see, money is do­ing a lot of harm to the planet and the peo­ple that in­habit it. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Money can be a force for good.

But it has to be clean. By clean, we don’t mean, washed-and-laun­dered clean, we mean not dirty.

Sim­ply put, clean money is money that does no harm. No harm to peo­ple. No harm to the planet.

Is your money clean?

Do you know what your money is do­ing right now?

Do you know if it’s fund­ing in­dus­tries do­ing harm? Like Coal min­ing. Gam­bling. To­bacco. Or Nu­clear weapons.

Google searches like ‘don’t bank on the bomb’ and ‘mar­ket forces’ will help you dis­cover some an­swers.

If you’re still read­ing, then you want to know there’s an al­ter­na­tive, right?

A re­spon­si­ble al­ter­na­tive.

A re­spon­si­ble bank.

For any­one that just rolled their eyes, it’s not an oxy­moron.

Al­though if you’ve been fol­low­ing the

Royal Com­mis­sion, we won’t blame you for think­ing so.

Bank Aus­tralia is owned fully by its cus­tomers.

Be­ing cus­tomer-owned means we don’t have ex­ter­nal share­hold­ers.

So in­stead of pay­ing div­i­dends, we’re able to use our prof­its to pro­vide bet­ter rates and fees for our cus­tomers and in­vest in projects that make so­ci­ety bet­ter.

Our prof­its never come at the ex­pense of do­ing the right thing.

Who we won’t lend to is just as im­por­tant as who we do.

We don’t lend to the fos­sil fuel, gam­bling, to­bacco, weapons, in­ten­sive an­i­mal farm­ing (caged chick­ens, pig stalls), live an­i­mal ex­ports or any other in­dus­try that does harm to so­ci­ety or the en­vi­ron­ment.

But don’t just take our word for it.

All our loans are sub­ject to our Re­spon­si­ble Bank­ing Pol­icy.

We’re also the first bank in Aus­tralia to have its de­posit and home lend­ing prod­ucts cer­ti­fied ‘re­spon­si­ble’ by the Re­spon­si­ble In­vest­ment As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­trala­sia. So now you know where our cus­tomers’ money doesn’t go.

But what about where it does go?

What good does our cus­tomers’ money do?

For a start, ev­ery Bank Aus­tralia cus­tomer is a part-owner in our Con­ser­va­tion Re­serve – a world-first for a bank.

The 927 hectare bush­land re­serve is be­ing re­gen­er­ated with the help of Green­ing Aus­tralia and Trust for Na­ture to pro­tect the 13 threat­ened species that call it home. And when a cus­tomer takes out a home loan for a new home con­struc­tion, we pro­tect an equiv­a­lent amount of land in our Con­ser­va­tion Re­serve.

Be­yond con­serv­ing na­tive land for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, Bank Aus­tralia is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing re­new­able en­ergy. Re­new­able en­ergy is one of the ma­jor pri­or­i­ties for our cus­tomers, so it’s a nat­u­ral fit for their money to be in­vested in com­mu­nity re­new­able en­ergy projects.

We’re sup­port­ing re­new­able in­fra­struc­ture projects, the Mel­bourne Re­new­able En­ergy Pro­ject be­ing one of them.

At the other end of the scale, we’re help­ing low-in­come house­holds put so­lar on their roofs and money in their pock­ets.

Our cus­tomers’ money is also out do­ing good for peo­ple who strug­gle to make ends meet.

We lend to com­mu­nity hous­ing projects to help them build af­ford­able hous­ing for peo­ple at risk of home­less­ness who can’t af­ford to com­pete in the rental mar­ket. We as­sist dis­abil­ity providers to build homes de­signed to help peo­ple live more com­fort­ably and have their needs met. We also lend money to build safe and sus­tain­able hous­ing for sin­gle women on low-in­comes, some es­cap­ing fam­ily vi­o­lence. And if our cus­tomers buy an elec­tric or hy­brid car, they get a lower rate on their loan and we off­set the car­bon emis­sions from ev­ery car we fi­nance.

You can see a pat­tern emerg­ing right? Money be­ing used for good in­stead of harm. Money we call, clean money.

We’re part of a new econ­omy of ‘clean.’ Clean en­ergy. Clean food. Clean trans­port. Clean money.

Which brings us back to the point we posed up there in the head­line. Is your money worth more in our bank?

We think so.

Per­haps not fi­nan­cially, but money is more than dol­lars and cents.

The true value of money is what you do with it, or more specif­i­cally, what good you do with it.

That’s why we be­lieve your money is worth more at Bank Aus­tralia.

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