Friday, February 01, 2008

Test-drive ShoreBank's socially/eco-conscious bank account (now 4.15% APY)

My favorite bank, ShoreBank, has announced that as of today their $1 minimum ShoreBank Direct account has a 4.15% APY (down from 5.00%.)  I was actually expecting it to go lower, so I'm considering that good news!  It's still higher interest than a lot of big names in the high-yield savings business; EmigrantDirect is at 4.05% now, HSBC at 3.80%, and ING's 3.40%, according to Bankrate. 
A quick bit of gushing about ShoreBank for those who haven't heard me talk about it before-- unlike traditional banks which take depositors' money and lend it out to where ever they get the biggest profit (including disturbing stuff like selling cluster bombs), ShoreBank instead targets your money toward their missions of community development and a healthier environment.   This means that while you're earning interest, your money's being loaned to small businesses in low-income commmunities, builders of affordable housing, low-income homeowners, renovations to make homes and businesses more energy-efficient, and much more.  (I wrote more about them in this post a few months ago.)
When the account first became available back in October, I told you that I'd write a review of its interface, but instead there's an even better option-- ShoreBank Direct offers a free demo on their website.  Just scroll down to "To view our Home Banking Demo," click, follow the instructions, and explore for yourself!  And let me know in the comments if you have other specific questions about my experiences so far.  (I can tell you that one tiny perk I appreciate is that electronic paperless statements are the default rather than by special request; for other banks I always mean to switch over but often forget, and then watch my guilt pile up with the paper statements every month!)
Do you use a bank that supports your values, and why or why not? 
  • If you're interested in other socially conscious banking options-- including CDs and money market accounts that fund causes from international microcredit to fair trade to child care to independent media-- read more here.
  • If you're interested in mutual funds that do socially responsible investing, check out my series starting here or use this handy tool/search engine.

1 comment:

Katie Gregg said...

Thanks for these resources. I really want to start being more socially responsible in every aspect of my life. For a long time my finances were such a mess that I pretty much signed up with whatever bank didn't reject me outright. :) Now that I'm more "together," I want to make a change!