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Nov 3, 2022

The Closure of Ando Money

Last week, we received the sad news that Ando Money was closing its doors. Since 2020, Atmos and Ando have been working tirelessly to move bank deposits away from fossil fuels and towards positive, climate-action. Though our approaches differed, Atmos and Ando have been complements to each other in a complex banking landscape that lacks suitable options for customers seeking to have greater control over the impact of their money.

Our Shared Climate-Positive Mission

Similar to Atmos Financial, Ando was a leader in the climate finance and climate banking landscape. Of the thousands of banks and credit unions in the US, there were only three (now two) options that had a 100% positive impact on climate:  Atmos Financial, Ando Money and Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU). 

Unlike other banks around the world, every dollar that is deposited into these organizations supports clean energy lending. 

For those that wanted a modern, mobile banking experience with 100% of their deposits to have a positive impact on Earth, Atmos Financial and Ando Money were the only available alternatives. For now, Atmos is left alone. 

Alternatives to Ando Money? 

Atmos Financial

As an alternative to Ando Money, Atmos comes the closest. Atmos provides a modern banking experience with a fast, frictionless application process with well-designed mobile apps. Similar to Ando, 100% of deposits fund clean energy and the impact of those deposits are visible directly in the banking app. Atmos also offers high-yield savings accounts and provides the ability to donate fee-free to many environmentally focused nonprofits around the country.

Some unique features offered by Atmos: 

  • No monthly fee
  • Web app
  • Up to 5% cash back only on sustainable purchases

Atmos doesn’t currently offer: 

  • Tree planting with an extra fee
  • Two day early payroll
  • $200 overdraft protection

While both Ando and Atmos each had a few unique features and products, we shared the common-goal of moving the world off of fossil fuels and the commitment that 100% of our deposits would fund climate-positive projects.

Clean Energy Credit Union

Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU) is an additional alternative to Ando Money. As a credit union, CECU has been somewhat limited in its capacity to offer a modern banking experience. Credit unions are limited in scope to whom they can bank and have eligibility requirements which can make it difficult to get an account. Requirements might include employment with a certain company, or living in a certain geographic area. For CECU, their eligibility requirements are around membership in or employment by certain climate and clean energy organizations. If you fit their criteria, CECU may be a good alternative to Ando Money.

Some unique features offered by CECU

  • Nonprofit status where each customer is an owner
  • Loans for geothermal heat pumps
  • Loans for e-bikes

Other Values-Aligned Alternatives 

Climate First Bank

In terms of chartered bank alternatives to Ando Money, Climate First Bank (CFB) is a “de novo” or newly-created community bank based in St. Petersburg launched in June of 2021. CFB was founded by Ken LaRoe, who has built and sold two socially-good community banks in the Florida market during his long and impactful career. 

As a de novo community bank, CFB is required to hold a diverse pool of assets and so offers both conventional and climate-positive accounts and loan products. Its mission is to be a role-model for other community banks around the country.

Some unique features offered by CFB

  • Accounts for children under 13
  • Commercial business accounts
  • Loans for sustainably-certified commercial real estate

What’s Next For the Ando Money Team?

Ando Money’s founder & CEO, JP McNeil, is a long-time pioneer in alternative climate-positive finance, helping to bring about both the solar lease model at SunEdison, and then over $2.5B in PACE-backed residential energy upgrades at his company Renew Financial. Will he and his team create their own Ando alternative? Only time will tell, but whatever they do, we can be certain that it will be working towards our climate-positive future and we look forward to working together on that mission.  

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