The Co-operative Bank has published an overview of the Bank’s commitment to its extended Ethical Policy. In its Values and Ethics Report, the Co-operative Bank demonstrates its product development, charitable giving, and ethical campaigning, which has supported economic and social development in the UK. The Co-operative Bank is the only high-street bank with a customer-led Ethical Policy.
Highlights of the 2015 Report reveal that the Bank:
– Returned to its campaigning heritage by partnering with Refuge to lift the lid on financial abuse in intimate relationships
– Launched ‘The Hive’ – a £1 million business support programme to help growth in the £37 billion co-operative and social enterprise sector. The programme is being run through Co-operatives UK and nearly 7,000 co-operatively run businesses will be able to access this service
– Launched new overdraft and credit card propositions which were designed in conjunction with customers and reflect the values of transparency and fairness
– Sourced 99 per cent of its energy from renewable sources
-Reused or recycled 88 per cent of the total tonnes of waste we produced during 2015 (up from 70 per cent in 2014);
– Raised close to £1 million for its charity partners through affinity credit cards
– Delivered £1.4 million of community investment
– Supported local communities through staff volunteering with 4,352 hours of paid time off (almost an hour for every colleague who works for the Bank)
The 2015 Values and Ethics Report showcases how the Bank has been designing and creating products which are in-line with customer expectations and putting customers at the heart of the development process. It also provides independent assurance about the way the Bank implements its Ethical Policy, including the ethical screening of business banking customers and suppliers.
Notably, the report also highlights how the Bank has made a successful return to campaigning, detailing the ‘My money, my life’ campaign with Refuge which identified and raised awareness of financial abuse in intimate partner relationships in the UK. The campaign calls for the
Banking industry to introduce a ‘Code of Practice’ to tackle the previously unknown issue in the industry and help the victims of financial abuse.
Laura Carstensen, Chair of The Co-operative Bank’s Value and Ethics Committee, comments: “We remain the only high street bank in the UK to have a customer-led Ethical Policy and we have long been at the forefront of reporting to our customers and wider stakeholders on its implementation. I’m very pleased that this year’s report builds on this heritage and also documents our return to campaigning.
“The Values and Ethics which underpin the Bank’s business are now being embedded in all areas including the co-creation of products utilising customer feedback. This was central to the creation of our revised overdraft structure and the launch of our balance transfer credit card which doesn’t penalise customers for small mistakes. The report demonstrates that putting the customer at the heart of everything we do is vital as we continue to rebuild the business and trust in our brand.
“Whilst there is still much to do to turn the business around, we are making real progress. As the most improved brand in the YouGov 2015 Brand Index, our Values and Ethics continue to differentiate us and I know customers will welcome this report on our progress.”