A casebook example of civil courage


Sometimes the best thing we can do is protest with our wallets.

Swedish bank giant Nordea announced recently that they are moving from Sweden to Finland because of a new bank tax that the Swedish government is planning to put in place. The final decision will be made at an annual meeting next year. The threat to move has caused a lot of hoo-ha from both sides of the equation – those who criticise the bank for tax evasion and greed, and those who criticise the government for forcing companies to leave Sweden due to unattractive taxation laws.

Criticising the banks is Sweden’s largest trade union ‘Kommunal.’ – the union that represents council and municipal workers. Just today they announced that if the move happens, they will remove all their money from the bank. We are not talking about a small amount of money either. The amount is one billion Swedish crowns.

‘ We choose banks that reflect our morals and values and who act responsibly. Neither Nordeas MD or board do this,‘ says Kommunal’s chair Tobias Baudine

Kommunal joins other trade unions ‘Handels’ and ‘Seko’ who have also decided to leave Nordea and take with them investments to the value of half a billion Swedish crowns respectively.

Agree or disagree, this is definitely a great example of moral and civil courage. Sometimes as consumers, the best thing we can do is protest with our feet and our wallets.

  • If a business is acting in a way that is contradictory to our values and beliefs then leave them as a customer.
  • If a newspaper is spreading lies and hate, do not buy it or go to its website.
  • If an industry is employing dubious methods, then stop consuming their product.

Do not fund hate. Do not fund greed. Do not fund unethical behaviour (whatever that means for you).

By taking a stance, we have the power to change the world around us. If only we would realise it.