The Co-operative Bank’s got talent (and ethics)

coopMy new years resolution this year, to green up my life a little bit more, was to switch to ethical banking.

I opened up a Triodos savings account for Little Miss Green and switched to the Co-operative and Smile for myself.

Today I heard that the Co-operative bank have won the Which? Award for being Best Financial Services Provider, which is a fantastic achievement.

Ethical banking

Just to show they are a ‘little bit different’ through and through, the Co-operative decided that instead of sending their customers a traditional ‘thank you’ note (which, after all would require paper, envelopes and transportation to get to us) they would have a bit of fun and share their celebratory mood by singing us a song.

The Co-operative Bank is still the only UK high street bank with a customer-led Ethical Policy and it’s great to see them being recognised for all that they do.

There is a fear during an economic crisis that people look to cutting costs and getting whatever is ‘cheap’. However, it would seem that people are valuing ethics more and more, so the Co-operative have managed to not only survive, but thrive during the recession by attracting more customers.

I must admit, the less money I have, the more I want to ensure it goes to the right place. It would seem I’m not alone with this way of thinking.

Simple green step

All I can say from experience is that the switch over procedure to the Co-operative bank was painless and hassle free. Every time I’ve needed to speak to somebody I get to talk to a real person who is polite and able to deal with my query quickly and efficiently. And of course, I can sleep in my bed at night knowing that my money is no longer being used to fund arms, exploit people or support organisations which harm the environment.

We all have to use banks, so it makes sense to use one whom we can trust to invest our money ethically. It’s a very simple green step to take.

And now, take a minute out of your day to celebrate with the Co-operative as they show their thanks to their customers. They might not know how to sing, but they do know how to deal with money!


  1. russell on August 27, 2009 at 8:33 am

    We have been with smile for a few years and just love them. Cannot sing their praises high enough. If we make a mistake and go slightly overdrawn but they can see we have funds in other accounts they just send us an email rather than charging straight away. Even though an internet bank always some helpful and polite on the phone whenever you need them. As you say transfer was painless. They even provide cash back on their credit card. I am about to open a business account, I am not going to shop around I am going straight to the Co-op.

  2. Mrs Green on September 2, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    @russell: Hi Russell, I think I remember you saying a long time ago that you were with the Smile bank. It’s great to hear someone else praising their services. It’s great about the small overdrafts; I used to get charged £22 straight away with my other bank just for a few pence overdrawn; despite the fact I had money in other accounts – it’s good to see Smile being ‘human’ about our errors.