The bank responds to your emails 

Thanks to all of you who wrote to The Co-op Bank after our last mail-out on the 15th January and sent messages of support over social networks. One of our supporters sent in the following response they received from the bank:


We would like to assure our customers that we have enshrined co-operative values in the Bank's constitution through the articles of association and ethics will continue to underpin our business.

We remain committed to engaging with customers on our ethical Policy during 2014 and hope as many customers as possible will participate in our consultation including a vote open to customers in the spring.

If you would like to see more information, please click on the following:

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continuing support.

Kindest regards,
Customer services”

We'd like something a bit more concrete from the new management. This doesn't tell us whether the bank will be keeping the Ethical Policy intact or using this consultation as an excuse to water it down. (We also notice that it says the Ethical Policy consultation will happen “during 2014”, rather than “in the spring” as the bank has said previously – e.g. in these recent press ads.)

Your letters help make sure the bank knows we are paying close attention to this process and won’t settle for any weakening of the ethics. We encourage you to keep the pressure on.

If you haven’t written to the bank yet, you can still do so using the web form. There’s some suggested text you can use here. And if you have written already and received a response like the one above, you could respond stressing the particular policy statements you would like the bank to keep. (For inspiration, see the bank’s policies on Human Rights, Ecological Impact, Animal Welfare, International Development and Social Enterprises – the statements themselves are in the blue boxes).


Plans on ownership

For many of our supporters the question of who owns the bank is just as important as the ethics. We’ve been busy talking to experts about how to increase our influence now and start the process of bringing the bank back into majority co-operative ownership. We think there is a real opportunity to make a difference but we need to design a plan that makes sense. So please bear with us and we will be presenting plans soon.

Let us know your thoughts

Send us an email (just press reply), share your thoughts on our forum, or via Facebook or Twitter (use #saveourbank). If you have more to say, we also welcome blogs from our supporters – send us a comment of 200 – 400 words and we will publish it on the forthcoming blog section on the website.


Support the staff

Many staff at the Co-operative Bank are worried about their jobs, and we have heard that many in the front line of customer service have had to put up with a lot of ‘jokes’ about the former Chairman’s activities, which wear thin after a while. We would urge supporters to let staff know that they support the bank and are signed up to the Save Our Bank campaign. They might not know about the campaign itself, so this can help spread the word as well as to let staff know that we’re on their side.


Help us spread the message

Please continue to spread the word to more Co-op Bank customers about the campaign.

If you're a social media user then please:

Tweet now, asking people to visit our site and sign up to the campaign:

The #CoopBank is reviewing its ethics in spring. Join the #SaveOurBank campaign to make sure the policy stays strong.

Contact your Facebook friends and ask them to sign up to the campaign:

 The Co-op Bank is planning to conduct an Ethical Policy consultation this spring. Join the @SaveOurBank campaign to make sure the policy stays strong under the new owners.


If you have cause to use the co-op bank's customer services, you will often be asked if you will complete an online feedback form.

Always say yes to this, as it will give you another different opportunity to get the message across.

After a number of questions about the actual use of customer services, and how well they treated your query, you are then allowed to give a more general opinion of the bank; if you would recommend them to friends and family, and why.

I answer the initial questions fairly, and usually positively, as I find their customer service is good. However, I now answer negatively to the general questions - "Would you recommend?" - "1/10 (Never)". I then detail why I would no longer recommend the bank, due to the ownership and ethical issues.

In some ways, I think this is better than writing letters, as it is getting the information into a survery that they themselves have initiated. I also prefer to write in my own terms, rather than use "suggested text", as I think it comes across more sincerely.