A message to the Bank on its Ethics consultation
The bank’s consultation on its ethics is fast approaching – we expect to see it launched in the next few weeks. The bank invited us to meet with them, and we think they are listening to our demands. But let’s make sure they are in no doubt about what we are asking for, with one last push.
We’ve been taken aback by the level of support for the Save Our Bank campaign. We know that our message to stay together and not switch yet has not been easy for many, but it’s because we have stayed, and because there is strength in numbers, that the bank has had to take us seriously.
There are now over 10,000 of us signed up in support of the campaign, and together we’ve contacted the bank hundreds - if not thousands - of times, by post, email and social media. (And by the way, a note to whoever runs the @coopbankpr Twitter account – how about a response now and again, hey? It might show that you are listening. A social media fail, in our view).
Our message to the bank is to use this ethics consultation as an opportunity to show it recognises the need to build trust, and to strengthen rather than weaken its commitment to ethics.
Here are our five messages to the bank on what we would like to see in this consultation:
- Keep strong rules on who to do business with: the bank will be interested in which ethical policies matter most to customers – that’s good. But we want a commitment that the survey won’t mean that some rules get quietly dropped.
- Show the ethics mean actions as well as words: make a clear commitment to keeping strong and independent monitoring and auditing of the policy implementation. We’d suggest that to rebuild trust, the bank should report every three months on business it has turned away.
- Rebuild positive ethics: It’s not just the business that the bank turns away that matters. Make a commitment to continued support for renewable energy projects, co-operatives, charities, credit unions and under-served financially excluded communities. Show how the bank will work differently from other banks in future and avoid scandals like PPI
- Campaign and lead on ethical issues: The campaigning stance that the bank has taken in the past - tackling difficult issues such as cluster bombs, the struggle for democracy in Burma and lobbying for the Climate Change Act – has inspired many supporters of Save Our Bank. Show us that the bank is ready to be brave with new campaigns, from loan sharks and payday lenders to social justice and rising inequality.
- Be ethical on pay: The revelations about bonuses at the top of The Co-operative Group were unacceptable. We recognise that the bank needs talented people – at all levels. We want to see the bank reject the huge pay and bonuses packages awarded to top executives at other banks, and instead take a lead by treating pay as an ethical issue, whilst ensuring that the majority of the hardworking staff, who have dealt with the backlash, are also rewarded for their part in saving our Bank.
Save Our Bank supporters have made it clear that they will leave if the bank’s ethics are watered down. They joined the campaign because they would rather stay with a bank they can be proud of: bold, campaigning, and leading the way on ethical, responsible banking.
Let’s make sure the bank gets the message:
Help us make sure the bank is in no doubt about what we are asking for. Lets make sure they get these five messages from as many Save Our Bank supporters as possible. If you're a social media user then please contact the bank:
Dear @CoopBankPR: here are five things you need to do in the upcoming policy consultation: http://www.saveourbank.coop/five_messages #saveourbank
Contact your Facebook friends to spread the message:
Five things The Co-op Bank needs to do in its the upcoming policy consultation: http://www.saveourbank.coop/five_messages #saveourbank
Write to the bank by post or email and send them these demands directly - see our page for details here.
We'll be in touch as soon as the consultation is released to look at how it measures up.
With best wishes,
The Save Our Bank campaign team