Bendigo Bank launches an ethical investment first
Bendigo Bank today launched the first ethical deposit account to be associated with an Australian bank.
This follows the signing of an agreement between the Bank and Community Aid Abroad's Ethical Investment Trust.
Bendigo will offer the investment account on behalf of the Trust.
"This arrangement was enacted after the Trustees assured themselves of Bendigo Bank's commitment to ethical investment and community values," said the Trust's Chairperson, Kathleen Townsend.
"These values are evidenced by bank initiatives such as Community Bank®, which seeks to secure long-term branch banking services and enhanced capital management for regional and suburban communities."
Under the agreement, Bendigo Bank will pay the Ethical Investment Trust commission on all investments in the new account.
Investors also have the option of passing on all or part of their interest earnings to the Trust, which in turn distributes all its income to support the work of Community Aid Abroad in Australia and overseas.
Funds raised through the investment account will be loaned to borrowers screened by the Trustees against the Trust's investment criteria, which embraces social and environmental values. Bendigo Bank will manage the loans on behalf of the Trust.
Bendigo Bank Group Managing Director Rob Hunt said the Bank welcomed the opportunity to support the Trust's work and to provide its own customers with the opportunity to invest in an ethical deposit fund.
"We are well aware there are investors who care not only about receiving a return on their investment, but who care about how that return is generated.
"This new fund provides them with an opportunity to make a socially and environmentally responsible investment offering bank security.
"By doing so, they will also be directly supporting the work of Community Aid Abroad through the commission payments we will make."
Ms Townsend said Community Aid Abroad had received substantial funding from the Trust since its inception in 1992.
"We expect this arrangement with Bendigo Bank will enable us to significantly increase our support.
"Bendigo also has the expertise and capacity to handle the rapid growth the fund has experienced over the past two years."
Mr Hunt said the Ethical Investment Fund deposit account would be available from today through Bendigo Bank's 103 branches across Australia or by telephoning 1300 366 666 (free call).