Ethical and alternative financing

A review of some of the alternatives available on the market

Choosing a bank in accordance with the type of society it supports is not easy. Ethical banking means the entity is only involved in activities that it considers add positive social, ecological or cultural value. In conventional banking, no ecological or social criteria are applied to decision making. There is, however, a wide range of approaches (from the major banks to small savings banks) with notably different impacts on society.

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Exchange networks

Discovering and using what we have

Author: Pablo Torregrosa

Exchange networks are groups of people which are formed to exchange goods and services without money, with a view to obtaining what they want or need outside the market system. This means that individuals can produce and receive goods and services in the network, irrespective of how much money they have or whether they are in paid employment.

There are many types of network which are differently organised and focus on different areas. They range from groups of neighbours who devote their spare time to learning each other’s skills, to authentic parallel local economic systems, as in the case of the town of Ithaca in the US, where thousands of people use a local coinage to pay in shops and there is an alternative local banking system.

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