Aussies flock to socially responsible bank, Teachers Mutual

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Teachers Mutual Bank has reported a dramatic increase in interest in just 18 months. Between 2019 and 2020 the mutual bank (formerly a credit union) says its product portfolio increased a staggering $4.3 billion, from $2 billion to $6.4 billion. 

Chief executive Steve James puts this surge in interest from the public down to the mutual bank’s reputation for investing responsibly. He says, “We see our bank as a force for good with social responsibility and investment driving our business practices.” 

Part of the reason why Australians might be flocking to Teachers Mutual Bank is its RIAA Certification.

What is an RIAA Certification?

RIAA stands for the Responsible Investment Association Australasia which (as the name suggests) is a champion for responsible and sustainable investing in Australia and New Zealand.

The association runs the Responsible Investment Certification Program, an initiative that seeks to highlight investment products in Australia and New Zealand that are socially responsible and ethical. This could be a home loan, a bank account or even a superannuation fund.

To be given the certification, a financial product has to score well for a long list of criteria. This includes having an investment style that takes into account environmental, social and governance impacts. You can read more about the certification requirements on RIAA’s website.

Which Teachers Mutual Bank products are certified?

According to the mutual bank’s website, all of its mortgages, savings accounts and term deposits are certified by the RIAA. Read Mozo’s reviews of these products here:

On top of all this, Teachers Mutual Bank as a whole has been recognised as one of the ‘World’s Most Ethical Companies’ for eight years in a row by the Ethisphere Institute. The mutual bank doesn’t exist in a vacuum either, as other banks and credit unions have been making an effort to evaluate their impact on the planet and people. 

The socially responsible banking revolution

Some other banks and superannuation funds that hold the RIAA Certification include Bank Australia, Australian Ethical and Future Super. For the socially conscious individual, the RIAA Certification isn’t the only ESG stamp of approval to be aware of. Another is the B Corp certification, which is also gaining momentum in the banking sector.

Chief executive for the RIAA Simon O’Connor said, “At the moment, we are seeing consumer expectations for ethical practices grow at a rapid pace and it’s time for the finance industry to respond.” 

Want to read more articles like this? Head to Mozo’s life and money hub where we cover everything from why younger Australians are shopping sustainably to what impact your chosen payment method has on the planet.