Charity will be first body to certify financial products
Published 9 October 2012 by Lucy Bower
Fairbanking, the charity which awarded the thinkmoney Personal Account with four stars for promoting customer wellbeing, will become the first certification body for financial products in the UK.
The Fairbanking Foundation, the charity set up to assess how different bank accounts and credit cards actually help customers and promote 'wellbeing', will become the first certification body for financial products in the UK, reports The Financial Times.
The charity has announced that it expects to come under the 'umbrella' of the government-appointed UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) in the coming months. UKAS approves organisations for providing certification.
A Fairbanking certification on a financial product is similar to Fairtrade labelling on food - which shows that the food has come from an ethical source. Fairbanking checks whether financial products help customers to manage their day-to-day finances and gives a three-, four- or five-star award, depending on how much the product helps customers.
The charity encourages financial products that help people develop 'good financial behaviours'. So it approves of bank accounts, credit cards and savings products that help customers to manage their money better.
However, only a handful of the 2,000-plus accounts and cards available in the UK have received accreditation so far.
Just last week, the thinkmoney Current Account, our alternative to a bank account, was upgraded from a three-star to a four-star accreditation by Fairbanking. It's one of only five financial products that have so far been accredited by the not-for-profit organisation set up to promote financial wellbeing.