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Co-operative Bank turns down £100 million of unethical business

In a sign of the times, the Co-operative Bank has today confirmed that last year it turned down the opportunity to invest in 20 financial arrangements which breached the company's ethical guidelines. The company has a number of these ethical guidelines in relation to human rights, the arms trade and the environment. It is unclear exactly what opportunities were turned down but the very fact they were worth in the region of £100 million reflects the serious nature of the business today.

The banking industry has for many years been at the centre of the ethical investment argument because of its direct involvement in financing ventures around the world. The vast majority of banking companies in the UK now have firm rules and regulations in place regarding ethical investment although whether they would all turn down up to £100 million of new unethical investments is debatable!

The Cooperative Bank is beginning to make a name for itself in the ethical, renewable and green industries having put aside hundreds of millions of pounds for these new and growing sectors. It is this foresight and ability to spot new investment markets which could pay handsome dividends in the not-too-distant future.

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