Damn right too

\’Big five\’ bank customers vent anger by taking their money elsewhere

Ethical alternatives see applications soar in the wake of NatWest IT fiasco and Barclays rate-rigging scandal

It\’s your money you put it wherever you think best.

This is the way this whole free market shtick works: you, the consumer, get to decide who gets your business. You want to go with the cuddly ethicists of the Co Op: good luck to you. You prefer the lying shysters of capitalism red in tooth and claw? Similarly, your choice, have fun.

We, by where we put our money, regulate these people. So, put your money where you think it should be: this applies to toothpaste, banking, bottled water and organic or not organic anything at all.

14 thoughts on “Damn right too”

  1. Half a million savers have left the big banks in the last six months?

    Wowee, that’s almost 1% of the population (even less if some of them moved more than one account).

  2. It’s your money…
    unless you make a profit on it, in which case, some belongs to the state.

  3. As a personal and business customer of Co-op bank, I’m with them because of the level of service they provide. No Indian call centres and they gave me £25 on the one occasion that they screwed up. The trade-off is the low interest you get on deposits, although borrowing rates are competitive.
    Institutions that have members are naturally risk averse in order to protect their interests, so the Co-op and building societies will tell you to get stuffed if you have less than a perfect credit rating. Interestingly for those whose credit rating is pretty dodgy, Lloyds is the largest provider of basic banking facilities in the UK.

  4. the great redacto

    Yup, Co-op here too, though also first direct, which is fine if you hold your nose and pretend they are nothing to do with HSBC.

  5. It’s not just “ethical” alterantives who are benefiting. Building societies are benefiting too. During the NatWest computer debacle, many switched to Nationwide.

    Anyway, what’s an ethical bank? One that put the needs of fluffy bunnies ahead of making a profit for it’s shareholders/members? The co-op is no more ethical than any other bank, they just use marketing to make themselves look better. Things like cladding their offices in Manchester with PV cells doesn’t make them “ethical”, just greedy. Why? Because they can get loads of taxpayers money through feed in tarrifs. All to make more money.

  6. People keep telling me to transfer to co-op. Nearest branch is town centre, 3 miles away. No branches in the villages around here where I can sometimes be found working. Town centre or nothing – so very unattractive as a bank. Natwest, Lloyds, HSBC – all are far more available around here. I’m with Natwest – fair play to them, they sorted out money I needed access to when they had problems. How problems are dealt with does make a difference…

  7. How problems are dealt with is what defines a good company.

    DVLA make a great play that they handle millions of transactions, but they can’t cope with the few hundred mistakes even when they destroy someone’s life.

    We as a small company make a few mistakes along the way because we are a bit stretched, but we go out of our way to fix them. We get the biggest satisfaction results from customers who we piss off (accidentally) than from customers who get a working product without any problems.

  8. I’m sticking with my bank because (i) I trust the people I deal with (I’ve known the senior cashier at my local branch for nearly 20 years and she’s* never made a mistake on my account – when I opened my first account, aged 17, the senior cashier had known me for more than ten years so I didn’t have to provide any documents to prove ID); (ii) I don’t like the Co-Op whose adverts claiming it didn’t have any shareholders were simply false as it had (?still has) preference shareholders who get a higher yield than other banks’ ordinary shareholders; (iii) there isn’t a Co-Op branch within 20 miles – I have no problem walking 3 miles to a Town Centre but over 20 miles just takes too long.
    @ sadbutmadlad – quite agree. Some 30 years ago I found that I had let myself in for being Hon Treasurer of a handful of Charities, a few of which banked with Lloyds, a few with NatWest and one with Midland. NatWest very very rarely made mistakes but didn’t believe it when I pointed them out so it took a noticeable effort to get them corrected, Lloyds rarely but occasionally made a mistake but apologised and promptly put it right, Midland made more mistakes and it required a noticeable effort to get them corrected. So I asked the Trustees to close the Midland account and transfer to Lloyds rather than NatWest.
    *OK, the new branch manager drafted in from elsewhere has made mistakes but her staff, with whom I normally deal, don’t.

  9. john77: Preference shares aren’t shares; only lawyers believe otherwise. They pay a fixed coupon (no profit share) and don’t confer voting rights – ie they’re bonds. Agree on the rest though: obviously if your banking setup works for you, why change it?

    Martin: I don’t understand how “nearest branch is 3 miles away” is a problem for anyone: you’re posting on blog comments, so you clearly have a computer and the ability to access the Internet…

  10. Cheques? I dimly remember those. People still really use them? Blimey.

    Fair point if the man’s running a cash-based business: a daily three mile round trip to bank the takings would be a pain in the arse. Didn’t get the impression from his comment that he was though.

  11. John b – nearby bank works well when going in for cash, when banking cheques, when banking cash etc. I’ll use an ATM a couple of times a month, use internet banking a lot – but some services I need a branch for. When was the last time you banked a cheque over the internet? When was the last time you drew £700 out over the internet. Internet is good, it doesn’t provide all my banking services….

  12. “when was the last time I banked a cheque over the Internet” – when was the last time I banked a cheque? February I think.

    “when was the last time you drew gbp700 out over the Internet” – when was the last time I drew gbp700 out? I don’t think I ever have, except maybe in US$ when travelling over there. Companies take debit cards, direct debits and bank transfers; individuals who trust me enough to give me their bank details take cash; and I don’t think I’ve ever paid gbp700 to an individual who didn’t trust me enough to give me their bank details…

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