In December 2018 Save Our Bank provided the Co-operative Bank with a number of issues and questions raised by our supports in recent months. The Co-operative Bank provided the below responses in January 2019.

Save Our Bank: A member complains that he was told that he could not open an account for a voluntary association because the bank only provides service if it’s a charity or registered company. The voluntary association does have a set of rules.

The Co-operative Bank: Our Community Directplus Account is available to Registered Charities, Co-operatives and Community Benefit Societies, Credit Unions and Community Interest Companies in line with our AML and Fraud risk appetites and regulation.

This eligibility information is available here.

The Community Directplus account offers these organisations award winning free banking.

We are aware this means we don't have an offering for some of the smaller community organisations who may be interested in banking with us and we are looking at how we provide services to those organisations again, either for free banking with the Community Directplus account or on a chargeable business tariff.

Save Our Bank: A supporter asks whether the bank is 'signed up to the new EU PS2 (concerning release of personal information) legislation’. We presume this is PSD2, in which case there is no choice?

The Co-operative Bank: The bank is signed up to the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) which impacts all personal Current Accounts, Business & Corporate, Credit Cards and certain Savings accounts with the majority of provisions applying from 13 January 2018.

The directive also requires that the European Banking Authority develop a number of guidelines and technical standards, including regulatory technical standards in respect of strong customer authentication and secure communication. These are designed to ensure that explicit consent is obtained from a customer whenever they choose to use an account information service which allows an authorised third party to access a customer’s account details or a payment initiation service, which allows a third party to initiate a payment.

The strong customer authentication regulatory technical standards, including the provision of capability to support account information service and payment initiation service providers, will apply as law from 14 September 2019. The Bank is committed to delivering the associated regulatory requirements within this timeframe.

Save Our Bank: Policing immigration: noting that banks are required effectively to help ‘police’ immigration, our supporter wants to know what the Cooperative Bank’s view is on this. As we discussed, the bank must of course fulfil its legal obligations, but may also have a view on the role it is being asked to play.

The Co-operative Bank: We are required to meet our obligations under Section 7 of the Immigration Act 2016 and specifically to prevent access to banking facilities to individuals who by reason of their immigration status are disqualified from accessing banking services. Our commitment is to fulfil our duties under the Act with care and integrity. We continue to be a leading provider of basic bank accounts for those individuals who find it difficult to access a full service account, which includes migrants who have a right to reside at the time of application. 

Save Our Bank: Oppressive regimes: a supporter asked how the bank defines oppressive regime.

The Co-operative Bank: We support the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Around the world there are many governments that deny their citizens basic political rights and civil liberties. In defining an oppressive regime we rely on external expertise provided by Ethical Investment Research Services, an independent research company which compiles a list drawn from a variety of sources, including Amnesty International annual reports, Human Rights Watch annual reports and the Freedom House annual survey.

Save Our Bank: A supporter was refused an increase in credit limit on his card in spite of having a high credit rating.

The Co-operative Bank: Our decision to increase a customer’s credit limit can be based on a number of factors including their credit rating. We’d be happy to take a further look if you can pass on the customer’s contact details we can arrange for one of our customer advisers to contact them directly.

Save Our Bank: A member complained that while they want paper statements, it makes no sense to them that the bank sends one statement with a number of transactions and then another one a few days later with hardly any.

The Co-operative Bank: One of the requirements from the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is that banks must provide all account holders with information about their debit payment transactions at least once per month. In practice this means that we will provide this information monthly via a statement unless customers have requested to have this information provided in a different way or on a different frequency.

Customer statements can also be triggered after 25 transactions have been completed.  It may be the case for this customer that they have received a statement once the page is full (after 25 transactions) and then a further monthly statement, containing a small number of transactions, has been triggered a few days later.  

It may be worth a call to our contact centre (03457 212 212) to check the frequency of their statements and request to change if required.