Newsletter - 28 July

Dear Save Our Bank Campaign supporters,

Bank analyses 73,000 poll responses

The Co-op Bank has now closed its ethics and values poll, reporting a record level of customer engagement to date. Thanks to everyone who responded to our call to take part in the poll – as supporters of strong ethical policies at the bank, it’s important that our voices are heard.

In a press release the bank confirmed that over 73,000 customers and employees had completed the survey. This is almost as many as the last ethics survey in 2008, which was backed by a much bigger publicity campaign including TV advertising. This shows the importance customers still place in the ethical stance of the bank.

The Save Our Bank Campaign and all the messages sent by supporters helped make sure that existing policy statements were almost all kept in the poll (see the letter below), and got issues like fair pay firmly on the agenda. But most importantly we got a clear commitment from the bank that it was not aiming to exit any existing areas of the policy.

Help from IPPR

The bank has said that it will be working over the coming weeks with the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR - a well-known left-of-centre think tank), to analyse the results of the poll and develop a new Ethical Policy for the Bank.

We look forward to seeing a revised, and we hope strengthened, ethical policy. We will be watching carefully to ensure that the bank keeps to its promise not to water down or abandon elements of the existing policy.

The bank responds to our letter on missing policy statements 

After the launch of the bank's Ethical Policy poll, we expressed our surprise that some of the statements in the bank's existing Ethical Policy were not included in the survey. Given that the bank had assured customers that it was not its intention to exit any existing policy areas, we wrote the bank a letter to clarify things. The bank has written us a response, reiterating that its aim is not to exit any areas of the policy, and that the bank needed to be selective about what it included in the survey due to factors such as time constraints, and that "this does not mean we are any less committed to those aspects of the Ethical Policy". 

Towards Save Our Bank 2.0

After securing the bank’s ethical policy, our next priority is to help the bank return to some kind of co-operative ownership. This isn’t going to be easy or quick – The Co-operative Group is short of cash, and isn’t likely to increase its stake. But we have some exciting plans to build an independent, customer voice in the way the bank is run. We’ll be in touch before the end of September to detail our plans and ask you for your views. Stay tuned.

With best wishes
The Save Our Bank Campaign Team