Welcome to this quick update newsletter from the Customer Union for Ethical Banking, the independent union for customers of The Co-operative Bank.

In this newsletter: the bank has gone public with its new Ethical Policy and we give some initial reaction. Plus a chance to hear about our plans for establishing a cooperative stake in the bank at Co-op Congress 2022.

The bank’s new Ethical Policy released this week

The Co-operative Bank has unveiled its new, revised ethical policy this week. The policy follows a period of consultation and a survey of customers conducted earlier this year. The bank has asked the Customer Union for input both before and after the survey, reinforcing its claim that the policy is customer led. What's more, our view is that it is a significant step forward for the bank, which is starting to look like a real leader on climate change again.

You can read the new policy here.

You can read the bank's press release here.

Ethical Policy

Our view

We plan to bring you a detailed review of the policy soon but in the meantime, here are some positive elements that we've been tweeting about:

Strengthened and extended policy: the update strengthens the bank’s position in some key areas where the Customer Union has been calling for progress. It extends the bank’s already leading position that rules out finance for fossil fuel extraction, so that it now excludes fossil power stations and vital infrastructure, such as oil pipelines.

Matched with action: the policy complements the bank’s campaigning for the Climate & Ecology Bill and its recent green bond issue. What's more the bank is also committing to reach net zero.

And verified: crucially the bank is committing to ensure that Ethical Policy will be externally reviewed so that customers can trust that the bank is meeting all these promises. Our members called for a return to external assurance and it's great to see this embedded in policy.

Follow the discussion on Twitter here

Save Our Bank at Co-op Congress

Free entry for Customer Union members and Save Our Bank supporters

If you're going to this year's Co-op Congress - or you'll be in or near Birmingham on Saturday at 1pm - you might like to come and hear Save Our Bank's Shaun Fensom talking about our evolving plans to establish a cooperative stake in the Co-operative Bank.

Co-operatives UK is extending an invitation to Save Our Bank supporters to attend the session free of charge. The session starts at 1pm. You are also welcome to attend the following session on Climate Change if you're interested.

To register for free entry simply email Leoni.bamford@uk.coop to secure your place – places are limited, on a first come, first served basis. You can see the full line-up here.

Co-op Congress


With best wishes,

The Save Our Bank team

Have you joined the Customer Union yet? It costs £15 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.