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Socially Responsible Banking with Wainwright

I was out with some friends last night, and when it came time to pay, everyone pulled out their credit cards. The funny thing was, the other three cards looked exactly alike. I think they were all from Bank of America. It made me think about how much I love my bank. I know, I know, love isn’t the usual word that people use regarding financial institutions, but this isn’t a regular bank.

Wainwright is a local bank, with 13 locations in the Boston area, and each month, it donates thousands of dollars to local charities. Their causes include “affordable housing, community development, women’s rights, and the gay and lesbian community.” They also have a community room in many branches that they make available as a meeting space.

Their environmental record includes four LEED certified branches. One is the first in the country to receive LEED Gold certification, and another is the first in New England to receive Silver. They offer discounted loans to homeowners for energy efficiency improvements, hybrid car purchasers, and nonprofit groups focused on sustainability. They even have a CD available that acts as collateral for a loan to Equal Exchange.

I first became aware of Wainwright when I worked in their Accounts Payable Department for a summer during college. I actually got to cut the checks to the charities. I’ve been a loyal customer ever since. It’s not often that a bank is so engaged in their local community and so interested in making the world a better place. I want to encourage that as much as possible with my patronage.

Does your bank think about more than the bottom line?

Comments

Comment from Erin aka Conscious Shopper
Time April 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I’m glad you wrote about this because a lot of people don’t realize that the right bank makes a big difference in voting with your wallet. We’ve been meaning to switch banks for months now and just need to sit down and do it.

Comment from Isabel
Time April 8, 2010 at 5:06 pm

I’m on the same boat with you. I definitely think is important to work with a socially responsible bank. The bank I work with is certfied in Corporate Social Responsibility and has an entire department dedicated to that. They get involved in all sorts of projects in education, community, and environmental areas.

It’s always good to research the activities banks are involved in. For example, both Bank of America and Citigroup are known for supporting mountain top removal coal mining.

I feel happy to work with a bank that helps make the world a different place.

Pingback from Carnival of Personal Finance #253 (Demotivational Version) | Punch Debt In The Face
Time April 19, 2010 at 3:41 am

[…] Pike from Pragmatic Environmentalism presents Socially Responsible Banking with Wainwright, and says, “I first became aware of Wainwright when I worked in their Accounts Payable […]

Comment from Brian
Time April 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm

You guys might want to look up the CRA, because it makes all financial institutions put money back into their communites.

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time April 21, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Canada Revenue Agency? Charles River Associates?

But, seriously, the Community Reinvestment Act only requires banks to allow low-income people to borrow. Wainwright actually makes donations.

Pingback from Friday Green Links – 4/23 « Pragmatic Environmentalism
Time April 23, 2010 at 10:40 pm

[…] other news, my Socially Responsible Banking with Wainwright post was featured in the Carnival of Personal Finance at Punch Debt in the […]

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