I would like to know how to choose my ethical bank, and which investment or behavior should I avoid to make sure my money is used transparently and ethically.

In France (I am french) I have read about two banks which are supposed to be clean and ethic: Le Crédit Coopératif and La Banque Postale. I thought about going to Le Crédit Coopératif but I learnt it is part of a bigger, not necessarily ethic banking group 'Groupe BPCE'.

I also heard that one should avoid life insurance products. Why and which product should we consider instead?

I am interested in documentaries, websites, books which simply explain problems and solutions regarding those questions.

closed as too broad by Dilip Sarwate, Ganesh Sittampalam, Dheer, Victor, JoeTaxpayer Aug 29 '14 at 13:04

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Different people will have different opinions as to what is ethical and what is not. Thus, answers to this question will be opinion-based and lead to many useless arguments and "My bank is more ethical than your bank" contests. I vote to close. – Dilip Sarwate Aug 28 '14 at 11:31
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    To get meaningful answers, you'd really have to define what you have in mind when you say "ethical banking". That could mean anything from "tellers are polite to customers" to "doesn't buy office furniture made in China as part of the international protest against the occupation of Tibet". – Jay Aug 28 '14 at 13:38
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    You are asking two completely separate questions here: one about ethical banking and another about life insurance. You should break these into two questions. – Jay Aug 28 '14 at 13:39

Avoid whole life insurance products, unless you are unable to force yourself to save for retirement any other way. They're really just an investment plan bundled with an insurance plan, and generally are not the best choice for either purpose. Their only advantage is that since the investment deposit is taken as part of the premium, you don't have to (and can't) worry about when to invest or how much.

Beyond that -- purchase life insurance if you have dependents who will be adversely affected by your unexpected death, if you can't afford to self-insure. Otherwise don't... or at most purchase only what's needed to cover the period between your death and their getting access to your estate.

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