Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On Socially Conscious Investing

Whitni Thomas, daughter of CBF Oklahoma Coordinator T and Kathie Thomas, has a letter to the editor published in today's Guardian.

Whitni, an investment manager for Triodos Bank in London, wrote in response to an article about the enormous sums that some British charities had lost pursuing higher financial returns from banks in Iceland. She writes:

Instead of charities depositing their cash in a bank because it offers a titillating interest rate, what if they used their cash to also meet their charitable objectives? It is possible to earn a healthy interest rate by depositing funds in a bank with a capital adequacy ratio nearly double the mandatory minimum, with the knowledge (through full transparency) that deposits are only lent to organisations delivering positive social and environmental change. Now is the time for charities and foundations to demand more from their investment advisers, and make their money work harder by delivering social good as well as financial return.
Before accepting her position with Triodos Bank, a bank that invests only in projects that advance the common good, Whitni was involved in providing micro-loans to impoverished women in Mexico. Before that she was an investment banker with J.P. Morgan.

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