Welcome to this first newsletter of 2020 from the Customer Union for Ethical Banking, the independent union for Co-operative Bank customers.
Ethical Policy update coming in 2020
High on our agenda for the new year is the update of the Co-op Bank’s Ethical Policy. The bank has already sent emails to some customers confirming that it will be seeking their views on the policy update soon – see the online version here. Thanks to those of you that forwarded them on to us; this is always useful as not everyone received the mail.The last Ethical Policy review took place in 2015 so an update is certainly due. This will also be the first Ethical Policy review to take place since the Co-op Group sold its remaining shares in the bank, and the first review to take place since the Customer Union was formally established. We will be keeping a close watch on the process to ensure the Ethical Policy is not watered down, and working with you to discuss how we think it should develop. More on this soon.
Send us your questions for the bank
Under our Recognition Agreement with the Co-operative Bank – signed at our Gathering in November – we hold quarterly meetings with the bank to discuss your comments, questions and concerns relating to the bank’s Values & Ethics. We’ll be discussing the coming Ethical Policy review, of course, and you can also expect us to ask about Sky News’ story that the bank’s owners are looking for a way out.
Let us know if you have your own comments or questions that you would like us to raise with the bank and we’ll endeavour to get you an answer. Just send us a reply to this email. Note that we only raise questions relating to values and ethics, rather than customer service matters.
Have you recycled your card reader?
The card readers that most of us probably have for logging on to the Co-op’s Internet Banking are no longer needed as of August last year. The bank has a recycling scheme for card readers – you can find out about it here. If you haven’t yet done so, please do send your card reader to the bank by post or take it to a branch. Let’s help make sure the bank recycles as many of them as possible.
Help share our landmine video
To grow our influence with the bank, we need to grow the Customer Union. We already have over 1,200 members, and around 10,000 supporters receive these emails - but that’s a small portion of the estimated 630,000 people with Co-op Bank current accounts. Help us grow awareness of the Customer Union by sharing our new video, which presents a 1997 cinema ad from the bank about the impacts of landmines, intended to raise awareness of the bank’s policy (still going strong 23 years later) not to do business with oppressive regimes or companies that sell them weapons.
If you’re already a member, please do look out for your renewal notice. If you joined the Customer Union when we first started (through the crowdfunder), you’re likely to get this renewal notice in February. You can check the status of your account by logging in to the website and clicking “view orders and payments”. (If you can't remember your password you can get a new one here).
With best wishes
The Save Our Bank team
Have you joined the Customer Union yet? It costs £12 a year to be a member of the first ever customer union co-operative, and help us ensure the Co-op Bank sticks to its principles. It only takes a few moments to sign up here.