THE Co-operative Bank is transforming its branch in Huddersfield into an ethical polling station as part of a large-scale customer consultation exercise to update its ethical stance.
Account holders visiting the branch on Victoria Lane in Huddersfield town centre will be asked to vote on various ethical issues.
Throughout October they will have the chance to express their views by completing a questionnaire on a wide range of topical issues such as human rights, international development, ecology and social enterprise.
The questionnaire will determine whether account holders support the bank’s proposal to extend its exclusion of finance beyond the extraction and production of fossil fuels to those working in the distribution of fuels with an even higher global warming impact, such as tar sands and certain biofuels.
In response to concerns about the deployment of indiscriminate weapons, the bank is proposing to extend its policy on human rights to include the manufacture or transfer of cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions.
The bank already avoids companies involved in animal experimentation for cosmetic or household products.
The Bank’s chief executive, David Anderson, said: “Our policy has always been at the cutting edge and we wish to remain a progressive business voice, but we cannot do that without the support of our customers.
“We appreciate these are difficult ethical issues, but we make no apologies for putting them in front of our account holders.”
The Bank will analyse the results of the questionnaire before publishing an updated ethical policy in the New Year.