Campaign Update 1 November

The campaign is gathering momentum. We have aims that are easy to communicate: stay ethical and return to mutual. We are clear what we are saying to fellow Co-operative Bank customers - please don't switch yet, we are much stronger if we stick together. People are signing up much faster than we thought they would at this stage of the campaign.

Now we have published our Ethical Policy Declaration - backed by some of the UK's best-known charities and campaigning organisations. This is an important campaigning tool because it matters to so many people, including many of those organisations' millions of supporters. The Co-op bank led the world, not just with its ethical policies, but with the mechanisms it created to deliver the policy. People are very worried that this will not be sustained.

We believe that the best way to ensure that the ethical policies are maintained is to return the bank to mutual control and ownership. Many of us also feel that it will need to have a new emphasis on member democracy. How that might be possible will very much depend on the details that are being discussed between the Co-op and the hedge funds right now. There is likely to be an announcement on Monday (4th November). We are confident that the fact that we are organised is having an impact on those negotiations - that's why all our effort has been on getting people to sign up. Now we are asking supporters for their views on what should be the next focus. You can add your voice to this by completing the short survey here.

Meanwhile, please help us spread the campaign. If you are a social media user, please spread the message in posts and tweets. If you haven't already, please follow @saveourbank, 'like' our Facebook page and share with your friends and followers.


Having recently switched to the Co-op bank in disgust at the activities of much of the banking sector, I am devastated at the loss of one of the few ethical options we have. Hedge funds have shown themselves to be interested only in making profits at the expense of everybody else and with nothing that passes as a social conscience, which is entirely inappropriate for a co-operative and mutual movement, so the sooner we can find a way of getting rid of them the better. 

I have been a Coop and Smile customer for many years, and I feel betrayed by the current situation.  Where else can I go?   Other ethical banks that I would consider for my current account the UK are not currently capable ( the wonderful Triodos will be in a few years' time, so I might wait for them).  

We have choice in so many aspects of our lives, but finding an ethical place for our money, which should be one of the most important choices, is very difficult.  I would rather have three choices of where to keep my money, than 63 choices of cheese.

From childhood in the 1940s my family were Coop members and I had a Coop Bank account from an early age and have kept it because I never had any complaints about the Bank's service and loyalty to its customers. It now feels that a band of thieves have come in, with the support of our goverment, and that we will no longer have any say over how we think the bank should be run, or have any way of knowing that what is happening is honest or that we can trust them with our money in the long term.

My only bank all my life, I am 60, the UK government should be ashamed.

i won't desert them just yet tho.

It would be a sad indictment of the UK government, our banking industry and all of us as a nation if we were to lose the Co-op Bank - the ONLY personal current-account providing "high street bank with a clearly articulated ethical policy covering a range of issues, from human rights and the arms trade to genetic modification and animal welfare".

So much for choice. (And they call this 'progress'...?)

Am on the verge of leaving the coop. Have ploughed £'s per month through my accounts for nearly 30 years. Have forgone money i could have made by not choosing ethical.  Will give this campaign a go, and the coop a short while to prove to me it's worth staying.

Why couldn't the bank have asked its customers to help?  If it's true that the Coop Bank has 4.5 million customers, an average of about £100 a customer in exchange for shares would have covered the shortfall without selling out to a hedge fund.

Many people have asked this question. You might want to put it to Sir Christopher Kelly

There's a question on member funding in our survey - please respond.


Good idea. We could set up an investment club to take the hassle out of buying shares. Everybody contributes £10 or more a week and it all adds up....

This is an excelent idea.

1) Insist hedge funds divest of all bonds, equities and/or any other holdings in the Co-op Bank;
2) Scrap plans for a stock market flotation;
3) Make the Co-op Bank fully mutual or set-up a new mutual bank from scratch.