Swimming against the tide: ethical banks as countermovement

Daniel Tischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
388 Downloads (Pure)


This paper adds to the literature on bank ethics, social movements and stakeholder engagement by presenting ethical banks (EBs) as a countermovement to the process of financialisation. Following the 2008 financial crisis, ethical banks have expanded markedly. Some suggest that this growth is opportunist in nature and reasoned in the public's disenfranchment with commercial banks. However, this paper seeks to demonstrate how British EBs have been, and remain, connected to social movements and civil society organisations (CSOs). It employs a mixed-method approach to review EB coverage in media and to explore three UK-based EBs' connections with CSOs via Social Network Analysis, with the aim to compare them to, and contrast them from, building societies, credit unions and other alternative banks. The link between EBs and CSOs were further examined in interviews with EBs. Findings support the idea of EBs in the UK as countermovement by highlighting how connections with CSOs constrain EBs behaviour, but at the same time give EBs privileged access to niche markets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-322
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sustainable Finance and Investment
Issue number4
Early online date4 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Structured keywords

  • MGMT theme Inclusive Economy


  • ethics
  • non-governmental organizations
  • social movements
  • stakeholder management


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