Newsletter - 12 June

Co-op bank launches its ethical policy survey

Today the Co-op Bank launched its survey to consult its customers on the future of its ethical policy.

We're encouraging all Save Our Bank campaign supporters to complete the survey.

Ever since the bank recapitalised by selling a majority of its shares to private shareholders and hedge funds, we’ve been campaigning to make sure it doesn’t water down its ethical policy under its new owners, and to help the bank return to co-operative ownership. This survey is an important sign that the bank is not aiming to water down the policy, and is aiming for more ethics, not less.

Over 10,000 bank customers have signed up to the Save Our Bank campaign; we’ve lobbied the bank with hundreds of letters, emails, tweets and Facebook messages, and we’ve met with them to press our concerns.

They told us they were listening. This survey shows that they were. The new policy consultation includes questions which indicate that the bank wants to extend its ethical policy into new areas, including how it treats customers, responsible banking practices and transparency. Given the scandals of the past years, we agree this is needed. But the existing positions are all still included as well.

We set out in our last newsletter what we wanted. We got a clear message that the bank is not aiming to drop policies. They've included questions on how the policy will be enforced, on supporting positive businesses, keeping on with campaigning, and pay for senior staff.

Our statement on the survey goes into further detail on how well they have responded to what we asked for – and where they haven’t.

Ownership needs to be addressed

There’s one big topic that isn’t mentioned in the survey - ownership. The bank is now only 20% owned by The Co-op Group, with the rest owned by private investors and hedge funds. We want the bank to make a plan for becoming a real co-operative bank again, with ways for customers and staff to build a growing stake. This will be the focus of our campaign moving forward.

Fill in the survey!

Let’s make sure the bank gets a strong message from its customers that ethics matter, by making sure we fill in the survey, and share it so other customers do the same. You can complete the survey online here, between the 12th and 30th of June.

Let’s make sure important issues like tackling climate change, protecting working standards and human rights are high on the agenda. And lets keep the pressure on for the bank to take the lead on fair pay as an ethical issue, and reject big bonuses in favour of alternatives such as a flat-rate staff profit share like John Lewis.

The final question on “other issues for the bank to consider when extending its ethical policy” gives an opportunity to raise some of these points. You might want to use our suggestion:

Take the lead on fair pay as an ethical issue, and reject big bonuses in favour of alternatives such as a flat-rate staff profit share like John Lewis. Make a plan for becoming a proper co-op, with ways for customers and staff to build a growing stake.

We’ve achieved a lot together so far. Thank you for being part of it.

With best wishes,

The Save Our Bank team.

Social media users

Tweet to spread the word about the survey:

TwitterI've done the #CoopBank ethics survey - supporting #SaveOurBank calls for fair pay & plan to grow mutual stake http://saveourbank.coop/ethicspoll

Contact your Facebook friends and ask them to complete the survey.

FacebookIf you’re a Co-op Bank customer then complete the ethics survey and support the #SaveOurBank call for fair pay, rejecting big bonuses, and a plan for building a staff and customer stake in the bank. www.saveourbank.coop/ethicspoll