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Bank Green

Co-operative Bank

Our take on Co-operative Bank

The Co-operative Bank is the only high-street bank in the UK with a customer-led ethical policy. They offer an array of banking services to suit all needs and lives by its values by providing substantial financial support to environmental causes such as renewable energy or biodiversity protection.

The Co-operative Bank also provide a number of green products to help existing mortgage customers make their homes more energy efficient. Where we would like to see them improve most is in their digital offering, with their mobile app and online banking experience a little behind that of some of their high-street competitors.

We think it's important for you to be aware of the fact that the majority of the bank is owned by US hedge funds and other financial institutions.

Fossil Free CertifiedTop Pick

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Key Facts

Type: Bank

Mobile Banking: Yes

Environmental Policy: Yes

Founded: 1872

Serving: Consumers & Organisations

Local Branches: Yes

Products

Current Accounts: Yes

Savings Accounts: Yes

Credit Cards: Yes

Mortgages or Loans: Yes

Business Lending: Yes

ISAs: No

Fees

Overdraft Fee: Yes

Account Maintenance Fee: Yes

Free ATM Network: Yes


Impact

• The Co-operative Bank has recently issued a green bond product, while financing renewable energy and other environmental causes.

• They have been rated as the UK’s best Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) high-street bank by reputable organisations, Sustainalytics and MSCI.

• They have a unique customer-led Ethical Policy, which has most recently declared environmental concern as its highest priority.

• This has led to a strengthening of an already-strong exclusions policy (i.e. Activities they won’t finance, like fossil fuels), while mortgages are the area responsible for most of their emissions, so they will soon begin offering a range of green mortgages.

• They engage in a wide range of other ethical activities, while committing a proportion of their profits to organisations driving positive social and environmental change.

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Security

• The Co-operative Bank is registered with the FSCS, so your money is insured against loss up to £85,000 in total.

• The Co-operative Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

• The mobile app allow you to use biometrics such as Face or Touch ID.

• They offer all customers a free cyber-security awareness training course.

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Service

• The Co-operative Bank’s customer service is available during normal business hours as well as the weekend and they offer a range of accessibility features.

• With that said, many customers on review sites have noted occasional wait times of 40 minutes or more when contacting them by telephone. They are also available on social media, however, so you can also contact them there and request a callback.

• Their support representatives are generally considered patient and attentive, with special praise given on review sites to their business support service.

• They have a comprehensive complaints procedure.

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Convenience

• The Co-operative Bank is the most ethical UK bank with a high street presence, with over 90 branches across the UK.

• Several customers on review sites have praised their business support services in particular.

• Their digital experience appears to be somewhat lacking, with complaints about the usability of both the online banking service and the mobile app, with the latter prone to glitches.

• Many reviewers have noted that certain procedures take longer than average, with some activities like account closures needing to be done by post.

• It is not set up to cater to those living abroad, since international payments cannot be made online, only in-branch.

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