HEXHAM Town Council has changed its bank account over ethical concerns.

The council had previously banked with HSBC, but has now switched to Unity Trust Bank.

Last year, councillors heard a presentation from Coun. Mike Domingue and former town councillor Chip Ponsford about ethical concerns associated with HSBC.

Mr Ponsford said at the time that the bank are "not in any way environmentally-friendly."

And at Monday's full council meeting, councillors agreed to the change.

Coun. Domingue said Unity Trust Bank has for 35 years "helped organisations to prosper and contribute to positive economic, social and environmental change".

He added the independent bank is Living Wage accredited, pioneers fair tax practices, and is the first Carbon Literate Bank.

"For me, it's aligning what we do with the bank account we use," he said.

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Earlier this year, HSBC published emissions targets that it claims will make it a “net-zero bank” by the middle of this century at the latest.

The business said the targets for its oil and gas and power and utilities portfolios align to International Energy Agency (IEA) pathways, and will help limit global warming within 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels.

It plans to reduce the amount of emissions coming from the portfolio of oil and gas sector companies and projects that it supports by 34 per cent by 2030.

In the power and utilities sector it wants to reduce the “emissions intensity” – the amount of carbon per terawatt hour that is produced – by 75 per cent by the same date.