Qorus Banking Innovation Awards 2023

Gatehouse Bank’s Woodland Saver Accounts

Submitted by
20/09/2023 Banking Innovation


The Woodland Saver Accounts provide competitive returns while supporting UK woodland growth – Gatehouse Bank plants a tree on behalf of the customer for every account opened or renewed.

Innovation presentation

Gatehouse Bank’s range of fixed term deposit and fixed term cash ISA Woodland Saver Accounts provide competitive rates generated from ethical, socially responsible investments. For every account opened or renewed, the Bank plants a tree in a certified UK woodland project on the customer’s behalf, at no extra cost to the saver.

Gatehouse Bank works with Forest Carbon to plant trees as saplings through these accounts and the quality of Forest Carbon’s schemes is certified by the UK government’s Woodland Carbon Code. Compliance with the Code assures that the right types of trees have been planted in the right place and that the woodlands are sustainably managed and protected in the long-term.

This product line has been designed to allow Gatehouse Bank’s customers to give back to the environment while enjoying competitive returns on their hard-earned savings. This is particularly important in light of research conducted by The Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC) in partnership with Gatehouse Bank, which found that 90% of respondents said it was important that their bank provided products that aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). In 2022, 87% of Gatehouse Bank’s customers gave a rating of 5/10 or above to the importance of planting trees in their decision to open a Woodland Saver account.

Planting trees to grow UK woodlands is aligned to SDG11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG13 (Climate Action) and SDG15 (Life on Land). The benefits to the environment and community include:

• Boosting biodiversity

• Flood mitigation

• Reducing air, water and soil pollution

• Carbon sequestration

• Providing employment in the local area

• Improving community wellbeing through green spaces

Gatehouse Bank research conducted in 2021 revealed that only 4% of UK residents believe that UK companies are doing enough to support the environment. Product lines like these therefore stand out as innovative, disruptive, and above all, crucial to the preservation of the planet.

The products are also Shariah-compliant, meaning that they are not used to fund industries that could cause harm to humanity, including alcohol, gambling, adult entertainment, tobacco or the arms industry.

Uniqueness of the project

This product line is unique in the UK market. No other Shariah-compliant finance provider offers a similar product.

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