The campaign was launched during Ethical Investment Week, which takes place over 14 – 20 October.
Twelve students’ unions have so far moved their money to banks with better ethical standards; these including co-operative enterprises such as the Co-operative Bank.
Among the Unions which have already moved to a better bank is University of East Anglia Students' Union, with a budget peaking at £2 million each year. They moved from Natwest to the Co-operative Bank.
Rosie Rawle, Ethical Issues Officer at the University of East Anglia said: “This decision was made because we believed that we needed to send a message to fossil-fuel investing banks. The RBS group should immediately stop funding carbon-intensive projects and ventures that destroy irreplaceable eco-systems and violate human rights. We, as a students’ union, refuse to allow our money to support these practices.
“It is an action that we believe all staff, students and the university itself should follow, and hope this sparks a continued wave of consumer pressure to ditch dirty development.”
Danielle Grufferty, NUS Vice-President (Society and Citizenship), said: “Students have a long history of using our power as consumers to put pressure on big companies and bring about an end to unethical practices.
Young people are suffering because of an economic crisis that they did not create and moving our money is a simple way to demand better for banks in the future.”
Danni Paffard, Campaigner at Move Your Money, said: "This campaign looks to mobilise the millions of pounds that move through our students’ unions each year, and could have a significant impact on both the alternative banking sector and in galvanising the wider student movement.
Students are a key market for the big banks, who draw them in with short term offers in the hope of making serious money out of them in the long term. Statistics show that you're more likely to get divorced than to move your bank account.”
The campaign hopes to see 20 unions move over the next year.