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Swimming against the tide: ethical banks as countermovement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-322
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sustainable Finance and Investment
Issue number4
Early online date4 Oct 2013
DateAccepted/In press - 21 Aug 2013
DateE-pub ahead of print - 4 Oct 2013
DatePublished (current) - Dec 2013


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.

    Structured keywords

  • MGMT theme Inclusive Economy

    Research areas

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

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Taylor & Francis at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 1 MB, PDF document


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