English

Who does (should) Fairphone bank with?

finance
Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f9ff4bccff0>

#1

Saw this article on twitter today [Fairphone takes €7m investment call] and saw that FP had taken a loan with ABN AMRO and the Dutch Good Growth Fund. It made me wonder, with which bank does FP, as a company, run its day to day business?

I don’t really know anything about ABN AMRO or the wider sector in the Netherlands, but I think it’s an important question given FP values.

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that FP is a client of ABN AMRO for all their day-to-day stuff (accepting and making payments, payroll, etc.). What other sorts of businsesses does ABN AMRO invest in? Fossil fuels? weapons? Monsanto? If so, I would argue that FP should NOT be a client of theirs. There are alternatives.

I live in the UK, where I’ve been a client with Triodos for a number of years, and have found that they are incredibly ethical. They are actually a Dutch bank.

This question also leads me to wonder which company provides energy to Fairphone HQ? Is it 100% renewable? Question for perhaps another thread.

Comments from any Dutch on here would be much appreciated!


#2

The Dutch green banks do not offer much services for big companies. There is Triodos and ASN; ASN only has accounts for consumers and self-employed people, Triodos serves small businesses but I am not sure they can offer what Fairphone needs -keeping in mind that Fairphone is growing.

Right now they are with Rabobank, I believe. Rabo is not exactly green but also not the worst: they were the only one of the four big banks who did not need government assistance following the 2008 crisis.

Edit: you can check https://eerlijkegeldwijzer.nl/bankwijzer/ for a review of all banks. Keep in mind: ING, ABN Amro, Rabo and SNS are the ones to look at, the others are consumer banks or investment companies. I cannot see the whole table there as I’m on my phone and the web site is not mobile-friendly.


#3

Thanks for raising this topic. Triodos is in effect the most (and only real) ethical bank in Belgium and the Netherlands. As CEO of a national NGO, I found it also worked better than the traditional banks for day to day operations! It would be unacceptable that a company as Fairphone does business with a bank that scres bad on ethical aspects…, so I hope Fairphone is looking into these aspects of ethical businnes as well


#4

Yes i totally agree with the post above, it would be very disappointing if Fairphone did not already have a relationship with Triodos Bank in the Netherlands, that seems like a total no-brainer to me for an ethical bank to team up with an ethical manufacturer.
Triodos are much more established in NL than UK.

As regards the energy powering the Fairphone that is also an interesting question. I live offgrid so i haven’t looked into it for several years, but there definitely used to be green power companies and i’d be surprised if there weren’t now. It’s a bit of a scam in a way, since you don’t necessarily use renewable energy yourself, you take electricity from the grid and then the company puts back in whatever you use from renewable sources, but of course that’s WAY better than the alternatives.


#5

It is not a total no-brainer - Triodos’ services are not suited for companies that handle millions of € and Fairphone is doing just that since the latest investment round.


#6

To me that sounds like a no-brainer. :wink:
If they can’t provide the services Fairphone needs then they are not an option.

I have no idea about the situation in the Netherlands, but I know that the Green Banks situation is generally not great.
I am with the German GLS which has very high ratings in various sustainability rankings and luckily they offer a few products for private customers from Austria.
Other than that there are not many options in Austria. The project “Bank für Gemeindewohl” tanked and then there are only some religious banks that claim to do good, but I don’t trust them.

I believe if and when there is a suitable and sustainable option for Fairphone they won’t hesitate to take it.


#7

At least the web hosting is powered sustainably as it comes from Greenhost. For the office, I don’t know where the power comes from - that would depend on whether Fairphone has their own electricity connection or shares one with the other tenants of the office block. I don’t expect green energy to be prevalent in the Chinese factories making the phone and its parts.


#8

do you know that for sure? triodos seem to be handling very large sums for example with windpower, i think they can handle it


#9

aha that’s good to know about the webhosting :slight_smile:


#10

Bunq (by the same people as TransIP) because they invest as little as legally allowed (banks are forced to invest). What they do invest in, is chosen by suggestions from


#11

Thanks for the link. I don’t see bunq or ASN in the list though.


#12

ASN is taken together with the other banks of the Volksbank group (SNS, Regiobank, etc.), which probably explains the good scores which Volksbank gets there.


#13

ASN is listed as one of the about 60 ‘partners and friends’ in the impact report which the investors received today.


#14

ING got a mention in Natural Capitalism (Hawkens, Lovins & Lovins, 1999) for their organic, energy-efficient headquarters.
http://www.natcap.org/sitepages/pid60.php
Does this building still exist? According to Wikipedia, ING moved to a new HQ in 2002 and are expected to move again later this year.


#15

Hi Louisa, very interesting. I didn’t know the building. The Dutch Wikipedia page describes that the building is still in use, but will be converted into apartments as the bank will move to a new HQ in 2019.