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Teachers Mutual Bank Limited combats greenwashing with jump to $12 billion in Certified products

TMBL has announced 100% of its retail mortgages and deposits and wholesale products are certified as responsible investment by RIAA.

4 May 2023: With consumer demand for socially responsible financial products on the rise, greenwashing or fake green claims on products attempting to cater for this demand is rapidly increasing.

To combat this, today Teachers Mutual Bank Limited announced 100% of its retail mortgages and deposits and wholesale products are certified as responsible investment, by Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). 

Head of Socially Responsible Banking at Teachers Mutual Bank Limited, Corin Millais said we see the RIAA gold standard of product certification as the cure for what is emerging as a greenwashing plague. 

“We’re leading the way for responsible investment in the Australian Banking community with the Bank’s RIAA Certified products increasing by 14% or $1.5 billion to $12.2 billion in the six months to 31 December 2022 ,” Mr Millais said.  

“We understand customers who are looking to choose sustainable financial products can easily be misled through marketing greenwashing. As the only Australian bank selling 100% of retail deposits, mortgages, and wholesale funding products all Certified by RIAA as Responsible Investment, Teachers Mutual Bank Limited has taken the confusion out for customers. 

“We don’t target ‘green’ customers. We believe 100% of our members deserve products that are Certified Responsible Investment, there are no green ‘niche’ options, so our members can all make a difference to our planet at no cost to our members,” he said. 

Mr Millais highlighted, “We don’t need to have green ads because by choosing to bank with Teachers Mutual Bank Limited, our members are choosing to bank in a socially responsible way. This means zero investment in damaging industries such as fossil fuels or tobacco, and money borrowed for mortgages never comes from damaging industries.”

“RIAA’s Certification Symbol is recognised as the gold standard, and is used to differentiate quality, true-to-label responsible investment products bearing the Symbol systematically account for ESG factors along with demonstrating a rigorous, transparent approach and organisational commitment to responsible investing. This certification provides members both solid evidence and reassurance that the Bank places responsible investment at the heart of everything it does.

“We see our Bank as a force for good with social responsibility and responsible investment driving our business practices. Since the retail products were Certified by RIAA on 1 December 2018, RIAA Certified retail mortgage and deposit products increased from zero to $11 billion in four years. At the moment, we are seeing consumer expectations for ethical practices grow at a rapid pace and it’s time for the finance industry to respond.”

The Responsible Investment Certification Symbol is the registered trademark for distinguishing quality responsible, ethical and impact investment products and services in Australia and New Zealand. To receive RIAA Certification requires strict operational and disclosure requirements.

The operational and disclosure requirements of the program can only be met by the organisations that are open to having their ESG processes, systems and performance made public – and in the case of products and superfunds, also subject to verification by an independent auditor. 

Teachers Mutual Bank Limited is the only bank in Australia recognised by RIAA as a Responsible Investment Leader in 2021 and 2022.

1. The cumulative total of all wholesale and retail assets and liabilities on the Bank’s balance sheet.