Co-op Bank challenges businesses with first "green" policy

The Co-operative Bank has become the first to inject an environmental component into its routine banking practices. The initiative is part of a drive to attract ethically concerned customers - but the Co-op will need to do more to show that its new environmental policy is likely to have teeth.

Until now, ethical investment opportunities have been confined to pensions, personal equity plans and investment trusts. For individuals wanting to put everyday savings into an ethical account, the small-scale Ecology Building Society was the only option. Now the Co-op will offer all its 1.5 million customers ethical savings and current accounts under its ethical policy.

The policy covers issues such as human rights, arms exports and anim

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