The Cooperative Bank

With 6.5 million customers the Co-Op bank is the largest consumer co-operative in the UK. Originally founded in 1867, it is an example of a unique type of business model and prides itself on its ethics rather than profit-led business.

It offers a full range of mortgages, loans, credit cards, savings, investments, and general insurance as well as having CIS for specialist insurance. As a co-operative society it can often be more lenient on its lending criteria. There are also corporate banking and business banking services which base themselves on ethical criteria.

The Co-Operative Bank offer a reward current account called, Privilege Premier, where you pay £13/month and you receive UK and European breakdown cover, worldwide family travel insurance, mobile phone insurance and more.

284 responses to “The Cooperative Bank”

  1. Mrs A Peacock says:

    I’ve banked with Cooperative Bank for a considerable number of years and also online fairly recently. Excellent in every way. No problems. Friendly,helpful staff. No ‘pushy’ sales. Can take a while to get through on the ‘phone but no different to other call centres – at least Coop Bank are in UK.

  2. Mr Holt says:

    I have banked with the co-op since 1989 whilst a student in Manchester. They have always been very efficient and the online service works well, in fact my kids also bank with them as they share my ethical concerns about ‘dirty money’. The staff are helpful and knowledgeable on the phone, so would recommend them.

  3. C Mark says:

    I have banked with The Co-operative Bank (business) and Smile (personal) for over 7 years. Whilst I have no issues with Smile, the service I get from the Co-operative Bank is very poor. The internet banking is slow and unpredictable – not been able to log on, there is a constant problem even with high-speed broadband. I have also had problems sending them letters with written instructions. It takes them 3 weeks to respond and on the last instance they carried out the wrong action with no apology! I originally went with the Co-op because of their “ethics” but they clearly don’t seem to have any ethics of customer service so I’m taking my business elsewhere.

  4. Paul Harris says:

    This bank will not reply to communications set to the chief executive – we have sent 25 !
    They will not admit their errors despite being told
    by independent sources it is wrong !
    has held our funds wrongly for now 6 months .
    they are totally unethical and replies cannot be obtained from any executive .
    do not open an account !!!!

  5. Alex Mackenzie says:

    I have had a credit card with the coop since 1993 until recently with a limit of £3650, never exceeded and always paid off in full. The limit was reduced in July to £500 without consultation and repeated calls and lately letters have produced only a statement that they think it a suitable limit since I have not exceeded this amount recently. What is going on?

  6. Kevin Bailey says:

    The online business banking system has been an ongoing disaster for the last few years.

    Love the principles – but without a working online system it is useless for me.

    Am changing to another bank.

  7. Anthony Callaghan says:

    Many colleagues tell me that credit card limits have been reduced without consultation, overdraft limits cut, again without a by your leave. What s going on?

  8. David Mountford says:

    i need a basic account as i was declared bankrupt on the octoberthe 3rd, cab told me that you do basic account for bankrupt people im disabled so i find it hard to get around my post code is st65se, can you help, kind regards david mountford.

  9. Phil Basten says:

    Banked with them for 22 years, utilise their credit card, current account and home insurance. Absolutely excellent service – cannot speak highly enough.

  10. Mr A. J. Callaghan says:

    Had account with coop since 1986. Suddenly this month.nov2007 credit limit reduced without warning whilst in USA, CARD REFUSED IN USA. WHAT THE **** IS GOING ON…. vERY UNHAPPY. no RESPONSE FROM CUSTOMER SERVICE.

  11. A. J. Callaghan says:

    AFTER MUCH CORRESPNDENCE[ ONE WAY] with the director of customer services, since 24/10/2007 i have not had a response. COOP IS A SHAMBLES. had account since 1986 about to go elsewhere such a shame. They don’t seem to give a *****..

  12. A. J. Callaghan says:

    In the last year the Coop has become the pits. Had an account since 1986 but recently trying to get satisfaction from customer services or the ‘call centre’ has become a nightmare. Time for a change. Ethical my foot!

  13. Tony Callaghan says:

    Even sending a letter special delivery to the chief executive failed to get a response to my complaint. Customer service is awful. Now trying the banking ombudsman.

  14. Ginny Edwards says:

    Credit limits reduced, overdraft facilities taken away without any consultation. Is this the ethical bank? Is the banks policy to treat customers like that? Time for a change me thinks….

  15. Steve Cooper says:

    Don’t customers have a right to be informed of changes to their credit limits before the coop refuses their credit card and causes embarrassment? Lots of my friends pissed off with the arrogance of the hierarchy at Balloon Street…

  16. Mary Walker says:

    What is going on at the coop bank. Credit limits cut without warning, no satisfaction from customer services, even when you manage to speak to someone who seems to know what they are talking about. Is the bank going into meltdown?

  17. Greg Grant says:

    Is the coop going down the northern rock route? Loads of managers made redundant, top brass in chaos, call centres running accounts. No straight answers from managers when you track one down. Answers on a post card please to the chief executive, whoever he or she is?

  18. Jean Lonsdale says:

    I opened an account at the coop because I thought they put customers before profit. Not the case any more. Lots of customers have had their credit limits and overdraft facilities reduced without notice. What sort of customer service is that?

  19. James Price says:

    I like the ethics and staff are friendly when you call. But they have made repeated mistakes on my mortgage account and seem disappointingly inefficient.

  20. Allan Beeby says:

    Are the Coop another Northern Rock, about to tumble?
    With no warning they reduced my Credit Card limit by 90%. When I spoke to the call centre, all I got was “very sorry”, but they could not give any reason for this action.
    Time close the account perhaps?

  21. Allan Beeby says:

    Are the Coop another Northern Rock, about to tumble?
    With no warning they reduced my Credit Card limit by 90%. When I spoke to the call centre, all I got was “very sorry”, but they could not give any reason for this action. Time close the account perhaps?

  22. B. Burgum says:

    1. I resent having to use an 0845 contact number at around 4p min when our system normally costs only 1p per min
    2. Why don’t they tell you when you phone that instead of going through all the options you can just press ## and get straight through to an operator.
    3. They are NOT ethical! They charge double what other high street banks charge for a CHAPS payment.
    4. Neither is what they are doing with outsourcing in Manchester very ethical!
    5. The people that work there are great, the senior managers, those right at the top are in the dark ages!
    6. No, I don’t work for them and never have.
    7. Otherwise they are great!!

  23. Paul Harris says:

    I refer to an account that had been running for over 20 years. The bank made an error and closed which they have now admitted was an error, the staff have lied continually since February this year! refused to deal with the matter and caused us to issue court proceedings in which they have continued to lie!!

  24. Ian Hill says:

    I moved my business account to the Co Operative bank earlier this year. This was due to the deal being offered by the bank and FSB. The time it took to process the paper work should have been a warning. They just cannot cope. The internet banking of down more hours than it operates.
    As a manager said the get a time when you can not put band aids on band aids. I regret having made the move. I would rather pay for the service that have this so called "free banking". What really gets to me is there is no explanations or apologies from the top. Rated -1

  25. Paul Robson says:

    The Co-op’s business internet banking service has been unavailable for a week, occasionally comes back to life but is so slow it is unworkable. I’m unable to pay my staff and suppliers before Christmas causing massive inconvenience to all concerned. The internet banking service is useless and unreliable when you need it to be reliable – month end, quarter end, year end, VAT return due dates. I’m switching bank in the New Year.

  26. Simon Clark says:

    I think the difference here is personal banking not business banking. The personal banking seems to get good reviews. The business banking is another matter altogether!

    The business banking at the Co-op is awful. Our company took up the offer of free banking through the FSB. What a mistake. I don’t think I have ever got through to their business customer service department in less the 30 minutes. It’s usually more like 45 minutes.

    The web site is down 1 out of every 5 times I need to use it. The other times it is really slow and intermittent. I can spend sometimes up to an hour to make a single payment as the web site takes so long to respond. The sessions time out and I get the errors detailed above. Then you try to log back in and it won’t let you because you already have an active session. So you need to delete all your cookies and try again. I manage the payments at my company and I think I can save about a day a month by transferring to another bank. Luckily, we are in the process of doing this. I can’t wait.

    My advice. DO NOT USE THE CO_OP business banking. They are rubbish!

  27. David Line says:

    I was told that my account had been flagged, when I asked them why, they said they didn’t know then asked me to send my credit report by post to them. I said do you think that’s wise? They said it’s was the only way and that was it, Iim leaving after 25 yrs with them.

  28. Mr T B Moore says:

    After about 40 years I can’t fault the branch staff – excellent personal service in Southampton for about 30 years, familiar faces for many years recently. Online banking works quickly and efficiently, call centre staff helpful and efficient. Maybe some products not as cheap as other banks, but a better ethos. ‘Top’ Managers need to remember that, and not succumb to profit at all costs (to customers of course) approach of competitors.

  29. Fake Idee says:

    Banked with them for years, they made a mistake and I suffered; it went on for 6 months. Nobody phoned when they said they would never a supervisor on hand all the crap you know happens at the coop, finally the woman from the bank phones me and says "we couldn’t phone you in the 48 hrs, we said we would but we will give you £15." I said "but you charge me a minimum of £30 if I mess up", she hung up!!!!!! I’m gone from the Ethical bank went to an unethical bank, wish I had done it years ago.

  30. Shaun Leonard says:

    Online Banking is so unreliable, it’s virtually useless!

  31. John Barrett says:

    Never had any problem in twenty years with the bank and have always found the call centre staff helpful. Recently my credit card was cloned and they refunded the money lost to my account promptly.

  32. luke says:

    I was given three weeks’ notice by auto-letter that my £500 overdraft would not be renewed (I had to phone to get the news). The only times I exceeded it were due to charges which I vigorously disputed and had refunded. All the Coop call centre say is my account has adverse information on the computer screen. As for finding a real person to complain to, that’s a joke.

  33. colin- slightly bitter says:

    I have been with the Co op bank since 1980 and I have had a number of loans over the years which all included PP (which I never ever claimed on). When I changed jobs after 15 years I continued making the loan payments plus PP, no one queried my change of work payment from monthly to weekly salary payments into my account. As soon as I applied to make a PP claim (2005 due to severe arthritis) nearly two years into a 3 year as I couldn’t work due to awaiting a knee replacement I was informed that it was nothing to do with Co op. and you need to speak to insurance company who then informed in their jargon I had changed job and I wasn’t covered (after leaving permanent job after 15 years taking a temp job for 3 months that lasted 17 months, then taking a job which only lasted 10 weeks due to my poor mobility). I ended up with £57.50p Incapacity allowance a week to live on still paying my bills loans etc. (not hb or c. tax). I then had to have a knee replacement for which I received an extra £50 DLA a week for a few months, which helped keep me a float, pay my bills and loan until I returned to work. What happened to the caring sharing Coop. I’m still with the Coop only because I’m shaking hands with the devil and don’t want to go through hassle of changing bank account.
    I did inform Coop that on no account should they ever try to contact me regarding loans in future as the comments I would make would not be repeatable. Ethical my eye. Staff star 3. Ethic -0. I have to give star rating before this is processed so will give it one star.

  34. colin says:

    Are you going to add my review from yesterday?

  35. colin lynn says:

    Left a review last week, wasn’t posted onto system.Wonder why? I’m sure to have a phone call cancelling my credit card oops sorry I cancelled awhile ago.

    Call centre staff good, online banking okay, can only send in my review if I give 1 star otherwise would like to leave my own star rating.

  36. Chris Collison says:

    Online business banking is appalling. Completely unreliable, and painfully slow and inflexible during the time it is available. I deeply regret joining them. Only the hassle of uprooting keeps me there, and that may well change…

  37. B Benster says:

    Internet banking is SO POOR it is unusable.

  38. phil manley says:

    Lots of gripes with 0845 numbers, quite agree morally wrong; they mess up and then charge you when you phone up to sort it.
    Best wheeze I’ve discovered is say no to 0870 website gives all the free 0800 and geographical numbers equivalent to 0845 and 0870 numbers. That’s Brilliant, small victories do you good!!

  39. Michael Moneypenny says:

    Terrible service, never get back to you when promised. Have moved on to another bank and it’s the best thing I’ve done. Would like to leave 0 stars.

  40. Hugh says:

    I should never have switched to Co-op business banking, it’s been a huge mistake. The internet service is practically useless and is frequently down. Personally, I think FSB has a lot to answer for endorsing them

  41. janet ashdown says:

    I too have had my overdraft limit reduced without explanation even though I am rarely overdrawn. I’ve tried to discuss this with customer service, but it always seems to be a case of the computer says NO. Other issues I’ve had recently lead me to believe that the Coop doesn’t want my custom. I too am looking to move my account. Are they in trouble?

  42. sandeep says:

    i have found an debit card of MR.toby

    how can i return him back,
    send me hurry ur nearest bank branch in chandigarh.
    i m from chandigarh.
    thank u

    or shall be my brdr will return it till tommorow,
    he was trying

  43. lucy stepto says:

    completely fab every time

  44. Sarah says:

    Found them to be excellent. Smooth changeover from Lloyds to Co-op; FRIENDLY, mature people on the phone bank; online banking – no problems, all easy. Much less junk mail. All a million timesd better and more personal than Lloyds TSB. So far – so good. I moved to them because of their ethical policies.

  45. Colin says:

    We echo all the negative comment on business banking. The online banking service is appalling, Co-op have now given a new meaning to double entry by double debiting! They couldn’t care less about customers, they ignore basic good practice, the banking code and common sense. We are actively seeking another Bank. Rating should be 0 stars.

  46. Ken Ward says:

    Over many, many years I’ve had faultless internet personal banking with the Co-op.

  47. Dan says:

    I have banked with the Co-operative bank (well Smile) with my personal account for years and never, ever, had a problem. Their internet site is always working and staff friendly and helpful. I wonder why the service they provide (particularly, it seems, the internet banking) to business customers is so poor? Come on Co-op… sort out your business banking and make it as good as your personal banking!

  48. Peter Kelly says:

    I am amazed and disappointed to find so many negative remarks on this site. I thought I was the only one with a complaint against the Co-op Internet banking system. I am making efforts to remove all my money and would not recommend this bank to anyone. Zero Star rating for this excuse for a bank.

  49. Barry Jackson says:

    I’ve had absolutely brilliant service from Smile, the co-operative online bank, and I would have no hesitation at all in recommending it to others.

  50. a Happy Customer says:

    I am surprised by the negative comments. I have banked with the Co-op since the NatWest messed up my accounts twice in 1973. I have never had a problem with them. The branch staff are great, everywhere I have been, and the phone in service is good too. I don’t like the interface of the on-line banking as much as some others, but it works fine. The interest rates aren’t the highest, but I do get a ‘divi’.

  51. Luise Hein says:

    Best bank in England, living here for over 8 years (from ECC), helpful staff, never ever any hiccups, smile just right for me.

  52. Maurice says:

    So it seems one is either a one star or a five star comment. I have done my personal banking with the cooperative for 18 years and have always had very good service at the branch, on the phone and on-line. Any mistakes have always been cleared up quickly. Despite the terrible music when on hold, I still give the bank five stars.

  53. Tim King says:

    Great bank. Online banking works fine and telephone banking is good too. Banked with them since 1975 and they’re highly recommended in my book.

  54. P Johnson says:

    I’ve had savings accounts, credit card and mortgage accounts with the Co-op Bank for a number of years and have never had anything less than excellent service. The staff in branches and on the telephone are always excellent, friendly and helpful. Those people who are complaining about the bank’s ethical policy seem to be misinterpreting what it is. The ethical policy is about the investment of its money in ethical sources and being mindful of green issues wherever possible. As a co-operative, each bank customer is a member of that co-op and their choices, resources and investment steer the course of the co-op. If you choose another bank, you are not a member, just a customer and the bank is steered by shareholders whose interests are not necessarily the same as yours. I chose the Co-op Bank because I wanted a say over where and what my money is invested in.

  55. Tom Smith says:

    I have had personal accounts with the cooperative bank continuously since 1970. Over that time the service has been excellent and when I have needed help or advice they have been very supportive. I particular value the being able to drop into a branch to deal with people face to face. Perhaps my only criticism is the number of surveys and telephone questionnaires I get. I recently suggested to someone who was investing to contact the coop bank instead they contacted another financial advisor who described the coop as a ‘dull’ bank. In the recent downturn they lost a considerable amount from risky investments. Given the recent turmoil I think I prefer to stick with a ‘dull’ bank that has established a position around ethical issues rather than get rich quick schemes.

  56. Claude Benson says:

    The Smile banking service is great. The privilege premier account is a little expensive at £12 per month but the free worldwide travel insurance and breakdown cover are now boosted by a selection of different insurance options or even airport lounge service. The overdrafts aren’t renewed automatically which can catch you out and they are now subject to a £20 fee making them less attractive. They have resolved issues without too much fuss previously which have included duplicate payments taken from my card.

    They now seem to be a pretty safe bank to to use and I’m happy that my savings are with them.

  57. sue wood says:

    I too have always had good service from the Cooperative Bank, including excellent internet banking. But I only have a personal account and not a business one, so I can’t speak for that. It seems, from other reviews, that they’ve got it right as far as personal banking goes and they now need to offer the same excellent degree of service for their business customers. I can’t see how they could be possibly worse than all those other big banks.

  58. monica neville says:

    Recently a cheque I issued as a wedding present went astray and in response to a request from the bride I cancelled it. The Coop charged me £10 for doing this despite the fact that at the time I had £73K in my account. I’m always well in credit so the bank earns quite a bit from me. I have asked for the £10 to be refunded and have heard nothing.

    It’s time to move banks, isn’t it?

  59. Joyce G says:

    I too am surprised at the number of negative comments. We have both business and personal accounts and the service has been excellent, personal and responsive. I recommend them all the time and am quite proud of the way that they have managed not to be at the forefront of all the recent disgraceful happenings. Well done FSB for associating with them.

  60. steveml says:

    Having been a current account customer for over 20 years, and a business account holder for 8 years, the time has now come to change. Over the last five years the service has declined, to the point where queries are now handled by call-centre staff (who are unable to make decisions, and who will not even offer there surname, should you need to speak to a manager). Managers are increasingly reluctant to deal with problems and just blame the call-centre staff when things go wrong. I have recently incurred over £100 bank charges for a stopped direct debit of £3.50 which was their error! After 20 years of banking they will not refund these charges, and seem quite happy to lose the business. Rather ironic, as they are offering £100 credit to new customers. They should consider looking after their existing customers, as so many appear to have lost total confidence in this bank.

  61. Jim says:

    There must be two Coop Banks. I’ve had my personal accounts there for 26 years and they have been faultless – not a thing that I would say about anything else in this country. I deal with most other banks on behalf of my customers and it is a joy to do my own banking through the Coop afterwards. It is pleasant, smooth and completely reliable in all respects. I wouldn’t go anywhere else. Shame there’s only five stars!

  62. Rough Treatment says:

    The Co-Op bank claims to be ethical but is not so morally superior when dealing with people who have debt problems. A friend fell into debt when widowed and the Co-Op was the only bank who would not listen and then, when she used a third party debt management service, refused to freeze interest to give her time to pay. Thanks to other banks understanding her excellent financial record her debts are now clear. But NO THANKS to the ethical profit-making Co-operative.

  63. Louise Hill says:

    The staff in my local co-op are very rude calling me names… refusing to give her last name and the reason? They had closed my boyfriends account with £228 and we wanted it, she wanted us to leave money in a closed account!!!! I had opened an account myself with these but it will be instantly closed, I will not take staff treating me that way and neither should you!!!

  64. tina says:

    Just been refused a bank loan for £10,000… first time EVER at the ripe old age of 48. In full time employment earning in excess of £40,000 per annum. I have an excellent credit rating 975/999… ????? I’m confused!! I would like to use zero stars but that is not an option!!

  65. soosie says:

    Ethical schmethical! I have banked with this bank for about 8 years and until now they provided me with a relatively good service. Lumping overdraft charges onto my account of £30 per day + £20 admin charge without informing is surely counter to what they claim to adhere to in the Banking Code? Other banks help you when they see you could be struggling…not so with the Co-op. The push you under when you’re down. And I’m only talking 10s here not hundreds yet they freely lump on 100s of pounds worth of charges!!

  66. Henry Painter says:

    I am surprised to hear so many negative comments. I have banked with the Co-op for over 10 years as have most of my family. I have found their phone banking to be very friendly and efficient. The internet banking also seems easy to use and logging on several times a week I have never experienced technical issues. I’m proud to bank with them due to their ethical policy and the financial sability they seem to have maintained during the banking crisis.

  67. Rob says:

    Hardly any branches, phone service okay but the business Internet service is constantly down rendering it pointless. I complained 6 months ago and received one of those we working hard to rectify.. letters. Still no better. Forgot all the ethical stuff until you can get a basic internet banking service in place! I use Natwest internet banking and it’s streets ahead. Avoid if Internet banking is important to you.

  68. Ena-Maria says:

    I have alwys used the Coop and never had a single problem. All the staff on the armchair banking line have been excellent and I feel confident that they are there to help and not hinder.

  69. David says:

    I applied for a loan by telephone, the details were all taken and accepted and I gave a memorable name, etc. I was told to expect paper work asap. 6 days later I rang to ask is papers had been posted and found that there was no record of my application. I was promised a call back when the relevant adviser returned from lunch. 4 days later I am still waiting. Customer relations!!!!!!!

  70. John says:

    Providing you can keep your current account in credit and don’t go overdrawn they are great. I have been a customer for 42 years I have my mortgage with them and have converted several right wing friends and 2 wives ( one ex!) over to the Co-op without complaint.

  71. david conway says:

    i have banked with the coop since 1974,i have not had any of the experiences detailed by your other reviewers,i have banked on line for the last two years and the only time the site is down is when the system is being updated and each time the information was online in advance.
    i have my mortgage and several other accounts with the coop and being a member and using travelcare for holidays i get a yearly divi.staff are always pleasant and eeficient at branches and on the phone.

  72. Frustrated Customer says:

    The Co-operative bank are about as ethical as Robert Mugabe managing a branch of Macdonalds. As a Business client the website is down more than it is up and running. When it is accessible it is extremely slow to navigate and to download pages. We are a small start up business and so far The Co-op has ‘lost’ personal deposits of £6,000 TWICE and refused to increase a business overdraft to more than £500.00 for ONE month despite putting nearly £60,000 worth of business through the account in our first 18 months of trading. One star because there is no option to leave none. At the first opportunity we will be moving our account to HSBC or Barclays, which no doubt will be no better but at least they have business branches and business can be carried out face to face. Co-op you need to send your telephone banking staff on some customer service courses! You also need to think about future business to be gained from start up companies.

  73. arf says:

    I’ve banked with the co-op for 10 years and so far they’ve been excellent. Streets ahead of anyone else.

  74. ian hume says:

    I have banked with the Coop Bank since the 1960s and never had a problem either by phone, branch or internet. The Current Account has always been free to use

  75. Gary Shaw says:

    Cooperativebank have always been very helpful and the website has ALWAYS been available to use on the numerous times I have entered into it.

    They have an excellent telephone manner – only one gripe, they used to answer the lines pretty quickly and now you have to wait a while.

  76. John Brooks says:

    I moved to their Business Banking from RBS to take advantage of the higher values that could be processed daily – what a mistake! Internet banking is real ‘mickey mouse’ – always down, poor quality pages, low security. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!

  77. ms. e. kalanga says:

    i tried many times to negotiate with my bank for a top up of an overdraft but still have not had any help.
    please if you could try to review my case ,…i am really in need.
    many thanks

  78. Harry. says:

    Avoid ‘The Cooperative Bank’ at all costs, I’ve had the misfortune to deal with them on a business and personal credit card level for 25 years and their behaviour is nothing but cooperative.

    They only lend money to businesses that don’t need the money and they are now embarking on a huge reduction on credit limits to existing customers which makes me wonder how solvent the Cooperative bank really are. No credit facilities = insolvent bank.

    Thank god I withdrew my money from this ethically unsound and unsolvent bank.

    Many other banks are offering better rates than the cooperative bank – which isn’t really unsurprising considering the problems they are facing. Withdraw your money tomorrow before its too late.

  79. Christopher Garner says:

    i have banked and worked for the co-op bank for the past year ive found them as a customer very polite and if i needed something done i was done streight away. even if my career doesn’t last with the i would always bank with them i think there supurb

  80. Adam says:

    Poor customer service. will remove overdraft facility without informing you and charge you for being overdrawn. AVOID at all costs

  81. karen says:

    Co-op Bank have incorrectly debited me twice for £1200 airfare. They then declined my debit card and when I called refused to provide any communications or apology. Very poor service. Very poor customer communication – so much for TCF (treating customers fairly)!

  82. Chris Coombes says:

    I’m now over sixteen and planned to start work soon, to do this I asked the co-op bank to open an account for me. This was done over the net in January this year I have still not heard back from them!

  83. Maggie birley says:

    We have numerous business, charity and personal accounts with the coop bank and have never had a problem. If the internet bank is down a quick phone call ensures that all my bills/salaries are paid. Staff are always polite and easy to work with. We had a problem with a wrong debit from one of our cards once, but that was quickly sorted and we were refunded.

  84. paul harris says:

    We opened a bank account at the co-op in 1980. They lost our opening mandate! They confused our company with one that was struck off and we took them to court to recover the money in the account, this took 2 years and 100s of faxes and emails as all ignore them and never reply. We have recovered the money but after a year we still cannot recover our costs. They are a totally incompetent bank and during the time we had an account with them we had nothing but trouble.

  85. SALLYE says:

    The most misnamed bank ever – I have had nothing but problems, they are not really an internet bank and the site is like something a 6th form IT student could produce. I have had nothing but problems and the staff are very patronizing – avoid!

  86. Elin Daniel says:

    Having banked with the co-op for 15 years plus, and having numerous accounts with them, I have never had any problems at all. Internet and telephone banking works really well and staff are always helpful, friendly and polite. When we had a card cloned and several hundred pounds taken from the account they informed us of the suspicious activity within hours and credited all the money back immediately before we even realised there was a problem.

  87. nicola says:

    I have recently joined the bank, having switched from natwest. what a nice change! friendly staff, internet banking always available when i log on several times a day. ok, the interest rates may not be the best but surely that’s because they don’t need to buy in money (unlike other banks). as for insolvent, i dont think so.

  88. Lisa says:

    It always makes me laugh when I see people like this one question…. Why don’t you move banks?

  89. Jon Lambert says:

    I have banked with the cooperative bank for over ten years
    – internet service 10/10 never had a problem;
    – armchair banking 10/10 never had a problem;
    – credit cards 11/10 as I have a rate for life card (no new ones issued now);
    – security 5/10 when my wallet and cards were stolen, another bank allowed the thief to draw money on my cooperative card without photographic ID, and also exceeding the normal daily limit: surely preventable nowadays.

    I have no real gripes about the Cooperative, and I have banked with 4 major banks over the years and found each to have their failings. On balance, I find the Cooperative perfectly fine.

  90. chris says:

    Anything out of the norm is a great effort, the call centre seems to be run by adolescent kids who have no idea about banking practices.
    In January this year they advised my account was £4K in credit more than it should have been and when I moved money about and subsequently found out I didn’t have that amount, they lost the recorded conversation. They promised a £15 goodwill gesture and it never arrived despite lots of chasing.
    2 weeks ago I applied for a bankers reference, I was told it would take 48 hours to respond to. I’m still waiting and the adolescent kids in the call centre just promise call backs (which never happen) or transfer me to my local branch (who have no idea about the request). They regularly ‘discontinue’ savings accounts and zero the interest, and never advise. Overall, avoid. I’ve been with them for 15 years and they just don’t value my custom and never seem to want to correct their errors. It’s a shame as I’d like to support a locally based (Manchester) bank.

  91. KEVIN BELSHAM says:

    The Co Operative Business Banking Internet System is consistently crashing and going down. When you phone the Internet Banking Customer Services they have a taped message which says: "We realise that some Customers may be experiencing problems accessing their Accounts – we are aware of the problem and hope to remedy it as soon as possible."

    This has been going on on and off since we joined last year, but unfortunately it is getting worse and in fact it hasn’t really run effectively for the past 4 days 6th April – 10 April 2009. The telephone Staff are always polite and apologetic but are unable to offer any hope to the Customer. I was told last year that they would be changing to a new System early this Year but today, I was told that there would be no new System just a change of Service Provider (but not until the end of 2009). I think the Co Op will lose an awful lot of Business Banking Customers in the meantime. I can not understand why the Co Op Directors are not looking at remedying this problem quickly ?

  92. sophia says:

    the worst bank ever.

  93. russell mitchinson says:

    I have read many of these comments, and all I can say is… all those ‘personal’ customers who rave what a great bank co-op is, then you have no idea of the requirements needed to run a business in this millennium. The co-op site is far from useable, and the security offered bearing in mind we are talking businesses with generally much greater balances than personal customers, is non existent. Don’t get me wrong, the staff have been brilliant… at apologising for their web development’s utter incompetence.. This is 2009, and their website is still pre-millennium.. Wake up co-op or your business customers who you make the real money out of, will be gone!!!!!!

  94. Julie Wood says:

    I have been a co-op bank customer for 34 years and never had a problem with them. I recently booked a flight and the guy said that my payment was not been accepted. I told him I would call back when I had spoken with the bank. When I telephoned the bank they said it had been referred to the fraud department. I spoke with them and explained they were quite happy and my payment went through. I was glad that co-op bank was taking in interest in my transactions and that they are trying to crack down on fraudsters. I just wanted to say a really big thank you to them, I was IMPRESSED.

  95. catherine cullen says:

    The co-op bank have just withdrawn my banking facilities because I went overdrawn for less than a week following bank charges that they themselves applied. They’re fine when you’ve got money, clearly, but not interested once you’ve lost your job.

  96. Andy Gardiner says:

    They have just declined me a new cheque book (but still sent me a new cheque guarantee card), no warning, nothing. I lost my job 2 years ago and went overdrawn for about 2 days while I waited for my redundancy cheque to clear (£30k +). They immediately invalidated my debit card even though I had told them what had happened. I am now bringing home over £4k a month but they have declined me a cheque book because of ‘adverse information’ on my credit file. Well derr, of course there is adverse information – I got into debt and am now clearing it. I have never missed a payment on my debt management plan and all of my creditors are satisfied with the payments I am making. AVOID THIS BUNCH AT ALL COSTS!

  97. Frank Watson says:

    I have written a letter asking for an explanation about a letter I received concerning my account. This was over three weeks ago. I have not had a response. Hoping to be able to find an email address to customer services I eventually found this site. I wonder if it will rattle the cage?

  98. Chris says:

    Customer led, ethically minded – not in my experience. 3500 redundancies since 2004 and with the Britannia merger – more on the way. Just another bank really.

  99. catherine davies says:

    All I want to say is if you are a small business in this recession and you are looking for a friendly and co-operative bank to work with you, then find a friendly and co-operative bank, but don’t use the co-operative. You need a bank with a branch in your town in order to deposit monies daily. If you bank with the co-op the likelihood is the bank is not on your dooorstep, you have to deposit monies over the post office counter or the like and merchant services (streamline card payments) take at least 3 days to hit your account. Not good for cash flow when you need the money in your account on the day to cover payments going out on that day. The staff in our local branch (50 miles away) chew gum and tell us the computer says no. Apparently when we go and deposit cash they say they only deal with personal accounts and not business accounts. Do I really live in the 21century? I think I do and I think they have just crawled out from under a rock.

  100. Michael O'Hare says:

    Smile internet banking is a joke. They do not reply to secure messages straight away. They are prioritised according to the title they are entered into. It took them 7 days to reply to my question and that was after one more secure message and a phone call from Thailand. Their reason for the delay was sickness and holidays. Believe it if you will. Taking into account their difficulties I requested an international money transfer. It took 3 days to respond to my request. 6 days later I’m still none the wiser if it’s gone ahead. Their service is bad and only 6 months ago they offered me 25 GBP compensation for cocking things up. I stuck to my guns and requested 100 GBP compensation paid to the Army Benevolent Fund. They dithered but eventually they coughed up. SMILE bank is going down the pan.

  101. weefee says:

    Generally customer service 10/10 when you contact the bank yourself. Was in serious debt when opened account and they were really helpful (i.e. the only place that would give me an account!), however they have now decided to close my account as I have had 3 bank charges in the space of a year (one of which was not my fault and was refunded by the organisation). Communication really seems to be an issue for them, I don’t actually really dispute the fact that they are closing my account, fair enough if that’s the terms and conditions that I agreed to when I opened the account (yes I know that I should have read them properly!), however, it really does seem a bit persnickety!
    The only reason that I found out my account was being closed is because I contacted them with a separate query, a phone call or letter would have been nice! Had a similar problem last year when my debit card was cloned, fair play to them they blocked my card as soon as they realised what had happened quite rightly so and I am grateful that they did, but it would have been nice if they had told me about this before I had it declined in a busy shop with a large queue of stressed out Christmas shoppers behind me!
    Internet banking runs a few days behind, so you have to phone to see what your available balance actually is. Very inconvenient but they are very helpful when you call. I am giving 2 stars, but only because of the fantastic service that I have received from the employees in the call centres!

  102. Karen Porter says:

    The Cooperative Bank are now charging £8.00 per month for the Privilege Account, your mobile phone is insured and you get an overdraft of £200 etc. Are we being ripped off????? They are always trying to take your money when you call and sell you this account and also grab your savings if you have any.

  103. Andy says:

    I was made redundant so struggled to manage with no income, I went overdrawn on my account by 17 pence in July no charge was made by the bank. But my card was due to expire the end of August. In the meantime I got a new well paying job with July and August pay going into the account. The sat of August bank holiday I received a call from the bank informing me they were cancelling my account as of Monday Midnight. I thought the Coop marketed themselves as an ethical bank, is giving me no notice to sort another bank account out as it was the bank holiday ethical? Thanks Coop its a shame your customer ethics are not as good as your third world ethics. Stay away from this bank at all cost its just as well I was not abroad at the time. If you want a laugh use there pathetic internet service I think the Chairmans Kids must have compiled at school.

  104. ruth says:

    I am almost at my wits end trying to get a response from the coop bank about my mortgage. This has been going on for nearly two years and no-one, but no-one is dealing with this competently, when they do deal with it. They keep sending letters to an address I moved from 2 years ago, and half they time they do not even bother to read the letters thoroughly. They have admitted errors, but still the problem persists. I am passed from one person to another and have not had a competent and reliable response. I still do not know who the Head of Mortgages is or indeed the CEO.
    As soon as this is sorted I will move my mortgage to another bank. I DO NOT recommend the coop bank. Their customer service ethics are very, very poor.

  105. John Stevens says:

    This bank is undoubtedly a complete waste of time. It was only after I read the reviews on this website I realised how epidemic the problem was. Forget about the five star reviews (so evidently written by their employees!), the Co Op leaves much to be desired for:

    Recently I went to take out a mortgage with them, things got off to a bad start when the adviser arrived late and complained that their branch was understaffed. Despite me specifically stating I wanted to arrange a mortgage in principal; they told me I couldn’t do this anymore and that all they could do was “take down my details” – it sounded like something straight out of book that should be called: “pass the buck rip-off Britain”. Things took a turn for the worst when I agreed to take out one of their current accounts too. I did this by providing all the relevant identification and was told I would be sent a letter in the post to confirm acceptance. A few days later sure enough a letter DID come through, but it told me that my account could NOT be opened because it required identification details – the same details I’d given them in the branch! I then contacted their call centre to explain this to them but NO ONE in their call centre had ANY evidence of having sent me this letter. Its like I didn’t exist! As they say – it gets better. A few days later I mysteriously received another letter telling me that my application HAD been successful and that I would soon be receiving my cheque book etc etc. This did come through but they had spelt my name incorrectly!! This beggars belief, I don’t exactly have the most complicated name in the world. By this point I decided enough was enough and made a point of contacting them by phone to see how I could cancel the current account. Surprise, surprise they STILL had no record of me as a customer despite sending me a cheque book and debit card!! They told me to visit a branch to resolve the issue – a totally inappropriate waste of time – and an answer probably read off a script by the call centre attendant. Eventually I found details of an address to write to on their website; why the call centre attendant had not mentioned this to me in the first place escapes me. After sending a letter by recorded delivery to cancel the current account I got a reply after THREE WEEKS. I’ve been saving the best till last, now tell me: if you were expecting a letter back confirming an account close sure enough you would laugh you’re head off if you received your OWN letter back with a hurriedly hand scribbled note on the side saying ‘account closed’ – wouldn’t you? Well…that’s EXACTLY what I got back!!!

    I’m not the kind of person who particularly likes the internet and spends time writing pointless reviews on Amazon and YouTube et al; but this warrants a review to help protect anyone considering an uptake of the Co Op’s services. Having come into contact with various retail banks over the years I have never experienced such totally abhorrent levels of customer service [with the exception of a few low-budget airlines, which is to be expected] and equally such a high level of professional misconduct that borders illegality in a time when the banking sector is SUPPOSED to be more astute in its dealings, and globally security conscious.

    Now: one could logically assume this is an isolated incident, however; on evidence of all the other poor reviews here, common sense prevails that there is a definite objective case for avoiding the Co Op bank – or Carry On Co-Op as I now like to call them. Don’t get suckered in by the ethical marketing, its all just hot air to sell you a poor quality service. The reality is: no bank can operate ethically. By principal the global banking sector is founded on morally dubious principals. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!

  106. Louise P says:

    I really can say nothing but excellent, about the service I have received from the Cooperative. I am a pretty new customer and have never worked for them – I am a studying Psychologist. I can really only imagine the only time any body could possibly slate them is when maybe they have made a little hiccup themselves? Everybody has problems now and again, we all have – me included! Natwest screwed me up big time – but there again, the account wasn’t run in accordance with what they expected – so my own fault really.
    I have just come off the phone to their customer service staff after making a point of telling them their service is impressive (this was after using telephone and internet banking prior – with no problems). A company attempted to take a large sum of money from my account today, then rang me to let me know it had been declined. I didn’t understand why, as the money was in the account – they advised me to call my bank to see if it had been classed as potential fraud – and that is exactly what had happened! Fortunately too! as £100 more than agreed had been put through! The lady on the phone was lovely – really helpful and said I will take it off and you will be able to use it within 10 mins! I have been really ill and not using my card much – so for them to spot it was great and shows they really do work for the customer. I can deposit cash with my card at any post office and it is in my bank immediately. I withdrew cash abroad – no problems at all. My local branch has a lovely seating area with free refreshments whilst you wait, I am also a member with them and use their shops for groceries. I am always sorry for anybody who receives poor customer service but I personally can’t knock these guys. I recommend them wholeheartedly! They will also issue a debit card to people who have suffered problems with their previous bank – they basically gave me a chance after a rough patch and I’m very grateful of it. Not many will!

  107. unhappy says:

    The Cooperative Bank have put me in an impossible situation, they do not set up direct debits when I ask them to, they have sent my money to people I either do not know, or haven’t asked them to. They have blocked my card with out any notification and left me with no money. I have had to demand my money. They have apologised over the phone. But they make so many mistakes, it’s starting to feel like a joke. Some of the people you speak to over the phone are really nice and polite, but still they make mistakes. The Branch is so bad, it seems like they are deliberately obstructive. The Cooperative promote themselves as an ethical bank, but they are not ethical when it comes to their customers. I have been with the Cooperative for 10 years plus, no more, had enough. Do not bank with these. Avoid.

  108. David C says:

    I’m a business customer of the co-op and I am appalled at their poor policy, obnoxious staff and find it incredible that they force customers to use their premium rate phone lines to resolve issues. Their internet banking security policy forces customers to frequently change passwords and if you don’t log in to your account you get blocked out and have to ring a premium phone number 0870. After waiting 6 mins, I gave up and rang their 0845 number, I then had to wait 13 mins to get an answer to make my complaint to be told, that they would not change their policy before even escalating the complaint to their management! I was told not to waste my time complaining as they were not going to change their security policy to meet my needs – how irate was I to hear this! They suck! And I’m finding myself a new banking partner.

  109. Niki P says:

    When I reported my credit card lost, and the call centre told me they would send me a new card, I was pleased. However I was not informed that they would also cancel my direct debit, which was in place to pay my bill in full. There were automated phone calls and then I spoke with 2 human beings – I thought this had been sorted. My statement arrived, they have now charged me £49.67 merchandise interest + late payment charge, and told me this will affect my credit rating. I have always paid in full and in time. By themselves cancelling my means for doing so, it is the so-called cooperative bank who have put me in that position. I have paid them off and closed my account after 4 years. Their loss – and that of Actionaid. This comment site will not let me post this review until I tick a star. I want to put a minus not a star – this negates the stats – I might have known!

  110. Elini says:

    The staff are very friendly, but they make so many mistakes it is unreal – luckily they pay us £25 for every error they make. The errors include paying people twice, sending money to wrong country, forgetting to make payments, sending unknown people money from our account, quoting wrong fees, forgetting to send cheque books, not knowing if they’ve sent us cheque books…. Their website is unusable and probably 2 out of 10 times I use it, it actually doesn’t come up with an error message. It’s soo bad it’s hilarious but all the staff are really friendly.

  111. :( says:

    WARNING – Be very careful if applying for credit with this company. I have an exceptionally high credit score on Experian and was recommended this bank as they advertise on the Experian webpage. I was declined a credit application and they refuse to give me a reason other than I did not meet their credit scoring requirements!! The staff are very unhelpful and are very reluctant to pass you on to a superior.

  112. Fabian says:

    I can’t comment on the personal banking side as I don’t use them for that but can very much echo all the comments below as regards the business banking. The online system is completely useless – I just spent 2 1/2 hours trying to make one payment. I’ve got a business to run – I can’t be sitting here staring at a screen desperately hoping it’ll go through this time. Staff make all the right noises when you speak to them but ultimately can’t fix the problem. I find it so bizarre that a company of this size has such an antiquated and unfit online system. Looking at the dates on some of the comments below there seems to have been the same issues for a couple of years now so I don’t hold out much hope for any improvement. I’m moving our company account to Barclays – hopefully they’ll be better.

  113. Loosing the will to live says:

    I have free business banking via the FSB but am seriously considering moving elsewhere (and will cancel my FSB membership as a result). The main problem for me is that their online banking system is painfully slow at the best of times. I prefer to carry out most of my transactions online but have to resort to doing this either very early in the morning (around 6am) or very late at night (after 10pm). At any other time, the system just doesn’t seem to cope. It’s a complete joke that a 21st century bank cannot mange a decent piece of software to allow online transactions. I have to say however that the staff have always been helpful but enough is enough surely?

  114. Christine R says:

    Co-op business internet banking not functioning AGAIN today. How can it be so bad for so long and still nothing done about it? As a small business owner I am regretting the move from Barclays this year – I should have realised the negative signs when it took close to 6 months to arrange our accounts and transfer the direct debits etc. Why can’t they have relationship bankers for small business? I am an FSB member but I’m seriously questioning their backing of the co-op a a bank for small business. Their phone banking closes at 12 on Saturdays! Our business operates all weekend. The website is a joke – it looks like it was designed by people who’d done a two week course in web design – it’s illogical, hard to navigate and just basically rubbish. That’s when it actually works. I too would give a negative star if I could.

  115. tim fitton says:

    The banking website never seems to work properly, you have to resort to ringing them up and waiting in a queue for half an hour.

  116. Mike & Julie Pope says:

    We have banked with the Co op for 32 years. 13 years ago we took one of their base rate for life gold visa cards. We thought this was a good deal especially over the past year of so with the base rate at 0.5% but the bank has obviously been smarting at these cards and has now decided to close this account with us upon expiry of our current cards – this month. We have managed our accounts very carefully so the bank has no grounds to remove this card – except that it is painful for them. So they have advised no new card will be issued however you keep paying the £10 per month membership fee for a card you don’t have etc etc and pay off the balance but we will not send you any new cards. We have spoken with numerous telephone banking people who are of no help. How does this comply with their ethical policy for a long standing customer??

  117. alex charlton says:

    Sadly I can only concur that the Co-op Bank is utterly shambolic. We’ve been with them for about 3 years now and it’s clear they’re not cut out to be a business bank. Routine gaffes include: messing up our monthly payroll, not processing same day CHAPS payments because they only have one fax machine and it is always busy, and running an online banking service that is more down than up. If you relish problem-solving and stress, this is the bank for you – otherwise, the words barge pole spring to mind. P.S. I would have rated them zero stars but this website would not allow it.

  118. Dawn Walker says:

    My husband has a credit card with these people. Does not have direct debit as pays extra every month endeavouring to pay it off. This month, he sent a cheque on 26th Oct – payment due on 3rd Nov. He received a call on 3rd Nov to say that payment had not been received and £12 was charged. Husband disputed this and reluctantly they waived the charge after admitting that the postal problems may have caused the delay. Today he received a letter from debt collections reducing his credit limit by 3,400. He has just rung them and they said he had mismanaged his account once in 2003 – we went on holiday and forgot to pay and was week late!! This was the reason they gave for this reduction. The women you speak to are so angry and rude. My husband is in the process of making a formal complaint – you have to make a stand. I would not touch them with a barge pole – you judge a company like a person on how they treat you when you have a problem!!

  119. JDT says:

    After numerous telephone calls to my mother – on each occasion they were told she was in hospital – Co-op had the unmitigated audacity to send a card, in a red, greetings card type envelope, handwritten, with a postage stamp. I took this to hospital for my mother, not realising where it had come from and, fortunately, opened it for her myself. Thus I was able to fob it off as a mistake. I simply do not understand how a supposedly reputable organisation can stoop so low as to perpetrate this horrendous deception. Needless to say this is being reported to the appropriate authorities. Since I cannot leave this review without giving them some sort of rating (interesting eh?) then the one star should actually be five black stars!!!

  120. Brian says:

    Looking down the list I do feel that some of the comments here applauding the Co-Op bank must have been put there by people with a vested interest in praising the Co-Op. I have been with them 15 years, and have had tremendous problems. They cannot add up, the business web site often fails, and generally the service is pitiful. Today they did not pay a direct debit which they should have paid, they blamed me and then the credit card company, and I spent 40 minutes in a heated argument with them where they would not even hint at that they could in any way be at fault (which they clearly were). As for ethical and polite – forget it. Easily the worse financial/banking organisation I have EVER had the misfortune to deal with.

  121. Phil Back says:

    Co-op Business Banking is a joke. A website that doesn’t work, that means all your payments have to be made by queueing up on the phone (phone staff are VERY sympathetic and say they’ve been complaining about it too) or by cheque. They’ve promised to have it sorted in the New Year. Not good enough for this business – and I too followed an FSB recommendation to get here, and won’t forget how I ended up with the worst business bank in the country.

  122. Ben Wheeler says:

    Terrible, as a bespoke website developer myself I just can’t believe a big company would even let it live!

  123. carolyn says:

    Clearly Coop internet Bank is not cut out to be for business account holders. To get a chance of seeing through a transaction you might get in at 8.00am or 7.55pm – not exactly user-friendly hours! So frustrating to get halfway through a transaction and be dropped out of the system and not being able to get back in to see if it has actually been completed!

    Please listen up Coop if you want to keep business customers.

  124. William Rankine says:

    Coop’s business online banking is the worst I have ever dealt with, and I have dealt with many. That FSB continue to recommend it is shameful. My personal accounts are with smile – it’s worrying that their service has changed not one bit in 5 years, and lags well behind all others I deal with. But that’s still better than Coop business which is now far *worse* than when I was last with them 5 years ago. Doesn’t bode well for Britannia BS who they just took over.

  125. Gwilym Johnston says:

    Sadly the co-operative bank have still not sorted out their internet banking system. It’s a disaster and frankly I’ve had enough and I’m moving my account.

  126. Peter Peterson says:

    Disgraceful customer service and terrible internet banking. Internet statements unable to give an indication of pending payments, will sometimes show payments as made only to retract them, makes running an account very hard. Recently removed an OD facility with no notice, from an account run for Bills so with multiple DDs, fined £140 in 2 days before I realised what was happening, immediately covered the OD with more than sufficient funds from neighbouring account. No sense of culpability from Bank, dismissive, stonewalling customer service. Will be moving my accounts. The worst bank I have ever dealt with by a wide margin.

  127. Lynn Merry says:

    Beware of authorising payments on your Debit card as there is no way of stopping them if the company you are paying decides to continue taking payments. My son arranged a new home insurance policy with the Co-op Insurance to commence on 20th December and authorising them to take the first two installments in advance on his debit card (total £66). They have already taken 6 x £66. No body will deal with it, stop it or refund it and it isn’t covered by the direct debit guarantee. Frightening isn’t it? Don’t authorise payments of this nature on your debit card – we now understand you have more protection with a credit card.

  128. Malcolm Jarrett says:

    Please stop sending me letters saying how bad the business banking service is. You recommend using the service off peak. Right now it’s Sunday lunchtime and I cannot even log in. Drop the letters and get the service going. It took about two years to get online banking working, why did I bother? It doesn’t deserve one star!

  129. Kirk Hunter says:

    As a Banking Service I have little issue with them, I do wonder why on earth they recently sent a chip and PIn calculator to every customer. I have no intention of using internet banking, I want to talk to real people and keep real people employed. I also think they need to completely forget about investing in Carbon Trading ideas. These supposed schemes are a con and represent more blatant capitalism which is screwing the planet up.

  130. sgordon says:

    In 2007 a coop lorry crashed into me while going about my job as a nurse, since then i have been lied to, deceived and had no progress on my personal injury claim despite numerous documentation, calls etc to both the coop and their partner in crime the eminently incompetent AI solutions/law based in blackpool. Very conveniently, the timeframe in which i can pursue my claim expires within a few weeks and only this week again after numerous phone calls, even more lies and deception i was eventually told by a miss boyd from Ai law that the coop had accepted liability and Ann Connel from the coop was going to ring me straight away! Guess what? Still waiting for that phone call, so have decided to report coop to FSA and all other regulatory bodies and report Ai law to the solicitors regulatory body. All attempts to deal with these automatons reasonably have failed, I am not sure what they get paid for, I would be dismissed by registration body if I did my job in such an incompetent manner.

  131. Nigel Todd says:

    I’ve banked with the Co-operative Bank for decades and also with smile. In all that time I’ve never had any problems. Systems have generally worked well and staff have invariably been helpful and friendly. I used to manage a business that had its accounts with another High Street bank and it was a nightmare just getting to talk to a human being let alone getting a decision. And another thing, the Co-op Bank is the only mainstream bank that asks its customers’ opinions on ethical banking policies. It’s not straightforward trying to be ethical in the kind of world that we live in, but I don’t see any of the big banks even seriously trying – but why would they since they exist to make big profits for small groups of already rich people whereas the Co-op, as they say, is ‘good for everyone’!?

  132. chris says:

    Absolute rubbish…. the worst site I have used. I have accounts with three other banks and they work fine. The Co op internet business banking site is useless. It hardly ever works and you will waste valuable time logging on and being unable to do anything. Today I logged on and the Balance and A/C pages are blank. Don’t waste your time with this. I’m changing to a proper internet bank.

  133. C Silke says:

    I have been with the Coop bank for over 40 years now. Until last year I rated them excellent BUT at the start of this year I was told I could no longer have my freeflow account and would have to move to another account. Take it or leave it. Since then the service has been disastrous. They failed to transfer all my D/Dr and even failed to transfer my income even though I filled in their forms. Having had all my details for so many years I thought they would have been able to manage this simple task. I had mt internet supplier threatening to cut me off, my phone system suspended, and my credit card bills bounced. They even charged me for this privilege. I have been lied to, ignored and shouted at. As soon as I have recovered from my operation I am changing my banker. Ignore all those glowing tributes below if they are more than 6 months old. The Coop has gone downhill fast and has reached the bottom. WHICH magazine has got it wrong. They are now awful. Unfortunately the system requires that I give it at least 1 star although even this is undeserved.

  134. WHCTA says:

    Returning to a major high street bank after 5 years struggling with the Co-op. The Co-op was mediocre at best but has struggled with increasing banking regulations and an absence of local presence. The help desk has become cavalier, arrogant and unhelpful resulting in a great deal more time, effort and frustration to get simple banking done. Not worth the more attractive interest rates they once offered.

  135. Steve Woods says:

    Sadly the only thing co-operative about this bank is it’s name!

    Three times they have failed to set up a direct debit to make payments to the credit card and always blame the post. Must be the only bank in the UK who will not allow payments to be made to your credit card account by debit card (unless you miss a payment and then they charge you £12) and are not able (or willing?) to set up a direct debit payment over the phone – every other card provider that I have used has done this and to cap it all…, the Co-ops crap procedure takes EIGHT WEEKS when they can actually be bothered to do something about it. If all the other banks, service providers and suppliers can action a direct debit in less than a week, why does this decrepit old bank still need 2 months – do they realise that computers have advanced beyond computers with 186 processors and 2MB memory yet??

    I can put up with a crap website for the odd bill I need to pay, but this level of customer service is not acceptable.

    Up until now I have had a personal bank account, business bank account and VISA card with them – now all cancelled providing of course they can be bothered to action it.

    A very disappointing end to a 20 year relationship with a bank.

    Avoid these dinosaurs and find a proper bank that can conduct it’s business properly!!

  136. Barney says:

    It’s taken me most of the day to pay three bills. Well, I say pay – I’ve only managed to get one through successfully. Got so frustrated that I thought I’d do them over the phone, but was told that because they were new bills I had to go through extra security for each one. Site is utterly unfit for purpose, and they are about to lose another customer.

  137. A Customer says:

    Do NOT touch Co-op Business Banking with a bargepole. You have been warned. The service is down far more often than it is up. The service is appalling. I have to give one star but it deserves none.

  138. Jess says:

    I too followed the FSB recommendations for business banking and have been thoroughly disappointed with the online service it is always going down, and I have no branch near me. Every time I ring up they tell me it is getting sorted but it is taking ages and no time has been given for its completion. Can anyone recommend a good business account as I am reaching breaking point!!!!

  139. Peter Gill says:

    I am an independent Correspondence advocate. I have recently been approached by a friend who tried to have some money tranferred from a deposit account to his current account. Despite over 100 calls and visits to his branch in Bradford and the Branch in Manchester where he works, the matter, although being promised it would be resolved that day, still has not been rectified. So he contacted me for my help. I have written to the co-op bank and hand delivered the letter to the Bradford branch personally on Dec 29th and lo and behold we have had no reply. Today he has made a call to his bank who deny that any letter was delivered, however, he has an appointment tomorrow where he can take a signed, timed and dated receipt for the letter obtained by me. I was disgusted at the state of the Bradford branch when I walked in, 3 counters, only 1 open although 2 staff were sat behind the other 2 windows and then another window opened because people stood there wondering what was going on! Only when that lady spotted me did she open the second counter. I would be interested in hearing other people’s responses on this bank. It seems a good idea to get a position in a co-op call centre as you are trained how to apologise, but if you want to know about banking I suggest you go to another bank.

  140. Christopher Simpson says:

    Useless… I cannot believe in this day and age that the Co-op has a Business Internet Banking service that may as well not exist. It can not in any aspect be described as fit for purpose. Truly unbelievable… I wish I had known beforehand – I would have set up my account with another Bank – and that is exactly what I am now about to do.

  141. Chris Collison says:

    For business banking, a complete disaster. Frequent CORBA errors, regular times when your account just doesn’t appear, and a user interface which was designed by Neandertals. Ethical ones, no doubt, but Neandertals nonetheless. One star is too generous. They really have no right to be in business, but the hassle of moving my account is all that keeps me there. It’s sad, but true.

  142. pno pine says:

    I love the Co-Op bank, I’ve never had any problems with payments, never had any problems with the Internet Banking and quite frankly they do everything they promise.

  143. Katie Francis says:

    I’m a business customer and the service is just utterly dreadful. I’ve bee trying for over a month to change the address on my account. 3 letters, one recorded delivery, and my address is still not changed. My credit cards were stolen and I can’t get new ones sent out as they are unable to change my address. Antiquated systems, online banking that never works and overall rubbish customer service means I am changing my account asap!!!

  144. Ian says:

    I have a Co-op personal account and I’m reasonably happy with the internet banking and telephone service. I do agree though that the web site is way behind others but it seems easy enough to manage and does for me. However, I’m not surprised at all the negative comments on this thread as they ring true for banking attitudes and practices in general. It would appear Co-Op is no better than any of the others which is a shame as it does like to give the impression that it is, with it’s ethical Banking motif, personally I think the words ethical and banking should never be used in the same sentence. Oh and I wouldn’t bother changing banks as you’ll just get the same treatment elsewhere. I’ve given one star as I’ve only been with them a year and they have still got time to mess it up which they will cos’ that’s what banks do.

  145. T Hood says:

    I think a lot of the positive reviews from personal customers here come from people who are mostly concerned with the Co-op’s ethical policy rather than anything else, and who generally have a moral grudge against the bigger banks. However, when you objectively compare the Co-op bank’s actual service and infrastructure to the other banks, it’s utterly shambolic. Their personal banking web site is just as much of a joke as the business one. Stone age IT systems, poorly trained staff, no idea what’s going on. The problems I’ve had with them are way too long to mention. I’ve had about £600 worth of compensation from them in the past couple of years for the ridiculous basic mistakes they’ve made. If I’m honest, it’s the only reason I keep my account open with them – because I know they’ll make a howling error sooner or later and I’ll get compensation from them. You get the impression that the business has been chronically under-invested in (which explains their IT), and still has a very amateurish, let’s bumble along without investing in any infrastructure or training culture about it.

  146. Beth says:

    I had a joint Co op account with my ex husband, who I left after domestic violence including financial abuse. He used our joint Co op account to borrow against my salary – the Co op didn’t help – and I am still trying to sort matters out. The Co op added my ex husbands credit card debt, post divorce, to the current account overdraft. I have been recovering from cancer, and I have just discovered that my ex-husband is speaking with the Co op about attaching one of his loans to my home. Lack of understanding about domestic violence and exploitation at the Co op – Ethical banking? I don’t think so, charity begins at home.

  147. ian moore says:

    Another few hours wasted trying to get some on-line payments through the disastrous on-line business banking system. Last week tried to do one over the phone instead but found out the day after that they did that wrong. Must change banks! No Stars.

  148. Kath Ashley says:

    The Co-op Business Banking Internet site is both inadequate in function and extremely unreliable in availability. The Co-op just cannot present themselves as a major player in the commercial internet banking world with this apology for a system. After 8pm on weekdays, midday on Saturday and not at all on Sunday you can’t even get anyone on the phone to sort things out. If it hadn’t been for their ethical policy I would have moved my company bank account years ago.

  149. Karen Porter says:

    Have banked with the Cooperative Bank over 30 years. The staff can be very pushy. Not at all happy with the Privilige account. Not interested in mobile phone cover, or travel insurance cover. This is just another way of ripping you off. Just give us a decent service without having to make monthly payments which increase yearly. They have made enough money out of me over the years. Sick of this Bank.

  150. Roy Maxwell says:

    I bank with the internet arm of the Co-op i.e. SMILE and I have had problems with my account for more than two months now, and they have been absolutely USELESS. They seem unable to deal with the problem I’m having i.e. can’t transfer funds between two accounts online, and now just add my correspondence to their complaints file. How they’re still in business with this kind of service I just don’t know.

    If you’re thinking of opening an account with SMILE then I’d seriously think again ….

    I’ve given a rating of 1 star as it isn’t possible to leave fractions …

  151. Roy Maxwell says:

    Security, ho hum …. Staff at the Bristol branch of the Coop have twice asked me, in front of other customers, to say out loud 2 digits from my secure 4-digit PIN. When I refused I was asked to write them down and ‘they’ (the cashiers) assured me that the piece of paper would be torn up afterwards. Who needs chip and pin technology when you can shout your details out for everyone within earshot to hear, or use a biro and a bit of paper ….

    The staff couldn’t see a problem with this!

  152. R Brady says:

    I’ve had an account with the co-operative bank for about a decade. Originally attracted by the ethical banking idea I opened the account as a naive teen. Now as a less naive adult I would caution anyone to have anything to do with them. Problems I have had with them include, but are not limited to, statements being sent to two address at once (and subsequent fraud on my account), repeated ignored requests to have a direct debate mandate sent out (over a year from the first request and still waiting) and taking of more money than authorised in a debit card payment. Their customer service agents are rude, unhelpful and anything but ethical. I’m currently looking for an alternative provider and would recommend to anyone looking at co-operative bank products to do the same. I am giving them one star only because I am not allowed to give them none.

  153. andrew hall says:

    Having found myself in a disastrous financial situation, with lloydstsb taking hundreds of pounds every month in charges from me – despite 22yrs a customer – I turned to the cooperative bank. I was able to open only the most basic of accounts and having gone overdrawn a few times, I was astonished when the so called ethical bank, took all my remaining money in charges (£208) and informed me that my account had been closed due to incorrect usage. This is clearly not how any ethical company would behave. More like the actions of the money grabbing scum that the mainstream banks represent. I was a member of the co-op but am no longer. It is a shame there is no means of posting a minus or zero rating on this site. Please ignore the star I have been forced to insert in the rating panel in order to post this.

  154. Jonathan says:

    One of the most unuser-friendly internet banking sites imaginable, excessive overdraft charges, and hardly any branches.

  155. KazAnn says:

    The Cooperative bank is very disappointing. I have banked with them for over 30 years. Now all they want to push is the monthly Privileged rubbish account which started at £8.50 and I noticed this payment had gone up by £1.00.

    I cannot understand why this bank was given a good banking practice award when you look at their monthly charging system where you are conned into having what you don’t need. I don’t take many holidays and I can always get a cheap mobile phone. It seems you are paying over and over for the holiday insurance cover and mobile phone cover. They are simply ripping you off and they will take further money from you it you go over your overdraft limit. I am sick of their pushy, cheeky customer service staff trying and the male staff are threatening bullies who are interested in selling you WHAT YOU DON’T NEED. Most of the time they are half asleep when you speak to them. This is now rip off Britain where you pay a high price and get nothing in return. The High Court allows this institution to do as they please and steal our money. We seriously need a change in the banking system to suit the customer and one which is not unnecessarily overpriced. So its thumbs down from me with regard to this awful bank. If I am going to be fried in my own fat I’ll get that done elsewhere. The £9.50 x 12 would be better served in an account of my choice and not their rubbish ISA account that pays a pittance. Charity begins at home so start being ethical with your customers.

  156. Anne Pool says:

    A friend of mine has a paid job writing product reviews, so I guess a paid job exists writing five star reviews for sites such as these. I have had the worst customer service from a financial institution that I have ever had in 30+ years of banking (and that includes Barclays). And all I did was to apply for a mortgage holiday! That was in October last year, apparently I didn’t meet the Loan to Value criteria so was told to apply the next month, when according to them, I would. Did the same in November, December, January, February (do you see a pattern emerging?) and finally, March. I really need this money or wouldn’t persevere …. the call centre staff tell you complete nonsense, one of them kept telling us that we would definitely get the holiday this time, when they don’t have any such authorisation to do so. Today, we were told that the chap we’d spoken to two days ago (who was going to ring us back today) was, variously, off sick, away from his desk, gone home early… I tried (ha ha) to speak to a manager, but he was too busy to talk to us – actually felt sorry for the poor bloke who answered my call… I have spoken to four different people alone this week. Thank god I don’t actually bank with them, this is bad enough – DO NOT TOUCH WITH BARGEPOLE – COMPLETE RUBBISH. Sorry putting one star, would put negative if I could.

  157. Robb says:

    Rude phone staff, never able to talk to a manager, 8 weeks and counting to set up a direct debit. If you ever want to feel like dirt beneath someones feet phone the coop bank. 1 star only as cant do minus numbers.

  158. Mitac says:

    I have been with them over 35 years. What a laugh there slogan (good for everyone) I think not, bring back the old CEO and board before another Bank bites the dust there customer service is a disgrace and the CEOs don’t even want to know about any problems or feedback and we are the owners with having membership, without us they are nothing. Let’s move to another bank pity they are all the same, so catch twenty two again. Better the devil you know.

  159. S.Infante says:

    4 weeks ago I cancelled a direct debate over the internet. Today I looked at my a/c and the debit had gone out this month. Ringing customer services I was TOLD I had done it today! While speaking to them I read my emails and lo and behold 2 emails from the bank confirming canc timed 08.54 am today, (1.5 hrs prior to my noticing their mistake and actually getting onto the computer). Of course they’re having nothing to do with it – so much for ethics.

  160. Ruby Wane says:

    Ethical bank! Well if Mr Richardson reads this, please investigate. I am a single mum who took out a business loan with the Co-op. The Business Manager made a personal proposition, I declined. He’s pulled the business loan in and at court soon as they want to repossess my home. Find it unbelievable. It’s 100% true.

  161. R Verrecchia says:

    Paid wages cheques into local post Office Friday 26th March. They sent it on and it was scanned on the 29th march by whoever collects the slips then couriered to Coop, showed up in the Payees account in April due to Easter holidays I suppose but has not shown up in my account yet. Still waiting for a manager to phone me to clear it all up. Meanwhile I am without funds to pay bills. All the advise I got was to chase it up at the Post Office and the issuer of the cheque.

  162. Lee Taylor says:

    After checking my account, noticed that the cash and cheque that was deposited the week before was credited to my account except no sign of the cheque, when I enquired about this they said that they can’t find the cheque. This is bad enough but this is the third time this has happened. I was advised to deposit cash and cheques separately…. why? The business internet facilities seem to have been modeled on the sinclair e zx spectrum, totally useless.

  163. peter says:

    Interesting reading these….

    My partner and I applied for four separate bank accounts under the names of two limited companies in November 2009. January 2010 and many phone calls later still no complete set of cheque bks/pay in slips etc. When these arrived, and despite account details and passwords internet banking existing there was still no full record of all the accounts..

    April 2010 plus £75 apology gesture from Co-Op they still do not have the correct account names listed despite the correct cheque bks in our possession. Internet access blocked for all accounts as a consequence of not signing in recently. But I did so in the last week on these!

    There are other Banks out there which offer free business banking for life. Don’t waste time with the Co-Op!

  164. pearl ford says:

    I have had someone taking money out of my account for months now and the co-op keep telling me that they are going to stop the people doing it and also tell me who they are, but no matter how many phone calls to them the money is still coming out. I feel that now I will have to change banks as they are certainly not ethical to their customers.

  165. Rick says:

    My partner and I were denied a Cooperative Bank mortgage the first time because of a false assumption about my employment. When that was corrected, we were denied a mortgage based on a different reason, a number of different areas of the application details we were told. We both have excellent credit scores and are employed full time. The Cooperative Bank is hiding something and refuses to be upfront and honest. I understand banks do not have to tell customers why they were denied a loan, but if we were told the first time (even though it was a false assumption), it’s highly suspicious when they are now being vague in their response. I know all banks are bad, but I expect more out of a bank that prides itself in service and ethical business practices. I’m moving my accounts to another bank.

  166. Lucy in the Sky says:

    If you run a business, do yourself a favour and avoid the Cooperative Bank. I opened an account because of ethical reasons but the online banking system is so appalling I’ve wasted so much management time making payments that can’t be set up, rebooting when it crashes (a regular occurrence) and then having to resort to the old fashioned cheque or telephone banking. Today I’ve been told by the very helpful lady on the phone that as they are moving to a new system in a month, customers can no longer make advance payments (as businesses obviously do) so if I want to pay a bill, I need to remember to go online three days before it’s due. I can’t set the payments up over the phone because, guess what, the details are stored online! This site is so bad, I can’t even rate it. I feel sorry for the poor people on the end of the phone. What can you say ‘Sorry our online banking system is crap, we’d help you over the phone if we could, but we can’t get into it either!’

  167. Mike Goodwin says:

    I used to bank with the Coop in the 70s and they completely unable to operate a bank in those days. Every phone call and every letter I sent them was completely ignored and they got me into terrible debt through their incompetence. After a decade with another bank I tried them again and I have found them to be very good on the whole. I have knocked a star off because of their insistence on an 0845 for their phone banking service. This is a rip off and very expensive if you are held in a queue waiting to talk to an operative. A more recent gripe is that I have ISAa transferred by the bank to the newly merged Britannia arm and none of the ISAs show up on my online banking which I find very disturbing. I phoned them about this and they seemed to think I was making a fuss. Actually I have no proof that I own these ISAs so I think my complaint was very valid!

  168. cordelia grimes says:

    I cancelled my card, and they told me that a threat of a company using my old card details would not go threw to my account. And 3 month later even with my new card they let another payment go out, I was left chasing the company as the bank wouldn’t take responsibility, and that it was an on-coming arrangement – not true, I had no arrangement I cancelled my card to prevent any more payments going out…! What protection do I have!!! or other customer come to think of it.

  169. Mick C says:

    I’ve been with the coop bank for 30 years. No problems… best bank in town.

  170. billy bob says:

    My gripe is that the online banking and cash machine balance is never up to date unless you don’t check it for a week… for christ sake this is the digital age where it should only take minutes or at least within a day to see an updated statement online after payments have been made or received and not over 3 days later… We need to know what we have available to make payments out .. I will surely demand compensation and any charges back should I be charged for any un-arranged overdraft due to statement not being up to date.. useless system.

  171. Concerned Passer-by says:

    There is a disproportionate of bad reviews on here. With LOTS of people banging on about I’d give them no stars or minus stars but there’s not an option. Smells fishy to me. Maybe this is what banking executives ACTUALLY do… Wander from site to site slagging off their competitors by pretending to be someone called Janice from Barnsley. Co-op are good, their internet service and telephone malarkey has always worked for me, but yeah the weird card machine thing was pointless. Although, if you want a direct banking service, hassle free with great customer service, KEEP ALL YOUR CASH UNDER YOUR MATRESS!

  172. Danielle Lawson says:

    I work for the Co-operative bank and have done for three years now and find your comments are quite rude. We are people on the other end of the phone not robots. We are genuinely nice people. Yes I do admit there has been the odd mistake made but we do try our best for our customers. We are 24 hour banking, New Year’s day, Christmas day, we are always there. We are UK based and have our whits about us, I think you will find we are a good bank. We do our best, what more can you ask for?

  173. T E Ireland says:

    We have been trying to arrange a financial review with your local advisor in Warrington since the 7th of May this year. He claims to have lost the details which we sent him via email, then failed to keep an appointment. We tried again and left written details of our funds at the local brance and have heard nothing since.

  174. D Sinclair says:

    I’ve been with the Co-op Bank for over 15 years, and picked them for their ethical policy. I have stuck with them, despite some poor customer service. However, the last-straw has been their so-called ethical policy. On discovering the bank is investing in wind farms in Scotland located less than 500m from people’s homes, in contravention of local government planning policies (to prevent noise pollution), I raised my concerns 4 times with their customer service department – 3 emails and 1 letter. I received no response, not even an acknowledgment. This, in my opinion, is a disgrace. I’ll be switching banks as soon as possible. My new bank may not be ‘ethical’, but as far as I am concerned, the Co-op is not ethical either despite its claims.

  175. Evelyn Hamilton says:

    Can never log in, when I do I get error messages continually. Can’t even set up payments until 3 days before it has to clear and of course on that day inevitably I can’t bloody well get logged in. So, if you then call it takes an extra day to transfer the money! They told me well it is FREE! They know that without branches everyone and their granny with a business MUST have reliable internet banking. Stuck so long with it as improvements were promised, not got much more stamina…

  176. Dominic Roche says:

    They would not issue me with a new Visa debit card until I had contacted them to discuss a separate account I held with them, which they had made an error on and had already rectified and credited me with the incorrect charges they had made. I have written a letter of complaint and three weeks later they have not yet even acknowledged receipt of this letter. I will be closing my account.

  177. Linda Green says:

    Paid cheque into co op bank 2 months ago. After several phone calls found out that bank had lost cheque so wrote second cheque 4 weeks ago, I have phoned the bank today as the money still not gone from other account. I feel service totally incompetent.

  178. Kevin says:

    I opened my business account with them 3 years ago, for the first year I managed to get by, their online banking was years behind everyone else but it worked, for the last year I have not been able to make one single payment online, I always have to call the premium number and wait while I’m passed around to someone who can handle the payments. Co-Op you get 5 thumbs down for customer and virtual service!

  179. D S says:

    Been with the Co-op Bank for 15 years. Recently discovered they were investing in 100m high onshore wind turbines located 450m from people’s homes (including 2 near me), despite this being in breach of local and national planning guidelines. I wrote to them to enquire whether this was considered ethical – no reply; wrote 4 more times over 4 months, each with no reply, not even an acknowledgment of receipt. I’m now switching to First Direct. My experience so far with First Direct has been excellent. Co-op Bank customer service? If you criticise or question their ethical policy, do not expect a response, even to written letters sent by Royal Mail. Co-op Bank ethics? Let’s see… these turbines are being built to generate income for landowners, and damn the nearby residents who subsequently suffer noise pollution inside their own homes. For a so-called ethical bank to be aiding and abetting this is disgraceful. Not very ethical in my opinion. I’ll be closing my Smile accounts in the next few weeks as well and transferring all of my banking business elsewhere.

  180. b breeze says:

    they put 8 credit file footprints on my wifes credit file in 1 Day and that was only for cashminder account,Not only will they not remove the 6 that should not have been done ,from Branch to Call centre they are all too Dumb to see any wrong! as for the ,, Shouting the4 digits at the counter story ,my branch is like Gala Bingo

  181. David Peltz says:

    I have used the websites of several other Uk Banks. The Co-op is a very bad joke. I have had a new business, just 3 months old. The inefficiencies of the Co-op business banking systems are a major factor in my decision to terminate the business. Lost payments, delayed payments, unuseable website. If I could be bothered, I would take legal action. As it is, I’ll just take a loss. Don’t, under any circumstances go anywhere near this Bank

  182. Richard ROBINSON says:

    joined over 16yrs ago due to familey loalty to coop brand,ethical bank my foot ,in recent years trashed are credit rating reduced the length of operation of cards to1 year and ignore complaints.Can not leave due to existant loan but will when this is settled, no wonder there is now an option to close account on telephone banking,the Rochdale Pioners would be ashmed of this banks attitude to the customer, thought I was only one till I found this websitethe

  183. Sarah says:

    Have been with the Coop Bank for 33 years and had no problems with their service. Join online banking and set up your own Direct Debits in a few minutes. Check balances, transfer money etc.,
    Takes about an hour if I want to transfer money from my account to my Husbands or to someone elses account.
    Pay cash into my account via the Post Office it is in and cleared before I get home.
    Obviously cheques will take a few days longer people forget the PO is not the Coop Bank and the cheque has to be sent to a clearing house and then transferred to the Coop. Why people grumble about this being slow amazes me. Why don’t they pay it into a Coop branch if they want it to clear sooner.
    If you go overdrawn, expect to pay for that priviledge. The Coop are not a charity and its not your money its theirs so why moan when you constantly use their money and get charged for it???
    Not really interested in their ethical policies and I don’t work for the Bank. Just in my opinion a good all round bank.

  184. James B says:

    Another classic from Co-Op. I missed one payment on the loan so they cancelled my credit card, which has a perfect payment and usage record. No explanation and no prior warning. This was after first increasing the limit on the card and then, with no changes in my circumstances, credit rating or performance, three months later reducing below the level of the initial limit – all within 6 months of letting me have the card.

    What a completely and utterly useless bank – I bitterly regret having gone to them for a credit card in the first place.

  185. Mr Danyal Marks says:

    I opened a Cashminder account in January 2010 with the Co-operative Bank and this is to say that I got my Visa Debit and all my bitsassociated with this account without any problems. As for the internet banking, never had any problems with it. Only downfall with the internet bank I find is that when I use my Visa debit card I actually find that the transaction does not show straight way on the internet banking, so therefore the balance that shows on online banking does not actuall reflect the balance when I take a balance enquiry from an ATM because the actual account balance differs from the available balance. I have written to the Co-operative Bank at their Manchester office regarding this. Previously I have been informed that the bank are looking into the above and it seems to be that they are planning to overhaul their internet banking in the near future. Even though the Co-perative Bank does not have many branches up and down the UK, there are 3 in travel distance of where I live, then you have the local Post Office who the bank have arrangements with to access your account to pay money/cheques in and withdraw cash out, so this is good for me as well, sure others out there find this handy as well. I have read the reviews here and naturally as much as you all have written negative reviews about the C0-operative Bank, no doubt the other high street banks have had their fair share of customer complaints as well. One thing for sure if you do move banks then it pays to shop around in this day and age, however even doing this is no promise if you open another account with another bank the customer service you get is not necessay going to be any better… Food for thought and I have no plans to move from the Co-operative Bank…

  186. Simon Phillips says:

    After over 25 years with this bank I have been given the motivation to leave after the steadily decrease in geniune customer service and the increase in marketing ethical spin.

    They increase in waiting times for customer service and the lack of interest from the customer service rep I had the misfortune of speaking to.

    Being charged £60 interest for being 2 days late in credit card payment for the first time ever. No attempt at customer service just quoting the banks T&C’s and had to hang on the phone for holding for 16 mins cfor the pleasure

    The has got to be better banks out there!

    No ethics here whatsoever and looking at the other comments a lot of people agree.

  187. Sam says:

    Co-op’s internet banking is quite simply the most useless website in the entire world. It is utterly and completely shameful. Coop basically owe me hundreds or possibly thousands of pounds for all the wasted hours of my time I have spent trying to use their damnable internet banking site. They have been promising a new and improved internet banking service for years now, and it always seems to be just over the horizon. In the meantime they make no effort to sort out the god-awful current one. If all this were not enough, I recently applied online with coop for a joint current account (swallowing my past bad experiences yet again because of their ethical stance), and received a phone call from one of their staff who pretty much accused me of being a liar. I have had enough – I’m going elsewhere for my joint account (I have had a current account with HSBC for 15 yrs and their service has been faultless) and will switch my business account too soon. There is only so much I am willing to put up with in order to try to be a little more ethical.

  188. robert says:

    I has a long term customer of the Coop Bank. I had no real problems until they stated that a cheque of my wife’s was treated as fraud. As they said, I say the cheque was in a foreign name and thought you were a victim of fraud. I called to complain of this racist remark and was told to withdraw the remark or my account would be closed. My account was instantly closed over the phone. My wife and I are both professional people with no money issues.
    Shameful way to behave, I banked with Coop because they were an ethical bank for as long as I can remember and they cut you off in an instant for complaining about racism. This just proved the ethical thing is a marketing gimmick and they are not ethical at all.

  189. Emma says:

    I think that the co-op bank is misleading!

    I paid a cheque into my bank on tuesday. After going to the atm I see that on wednesday I can withdraw my £1000 cheque. Easy? NO!!!!
    I called them to make sure as I thought it would only be available on Friday, apparently have only started to earn interest on it, it’s not actually available. I need to wait till next wednesday. I wouldn’t mind but the cash piont actually said YOU CAN WITHDRAW TODAY £1978!

    This is what gets good people into debt thinking that have more money then they do because banks are holding on to money for far too long trying not to break any OFT rule si letting it show in peoples accounts.

    It has already left my mothers account so why isn’t it in mine?
    – mabe they are using it to build a wind farm somewhere this weekend and are waiting for some poor unfortunate sole to deposit some money (or god forbid a cheque) on monday so I can have my money!

  190. V HUDSON says:

    I am amazed at all these negative reviews. I’ve been with the Coop then SMILE for over 30 years, and have never had any problems. My secure messages are always answered immediately, and when I go into the Coop bank I am shown the utmost respect with no hassle, unlike my husband who banks with a different bank and every time he wants to pay a cheque in gets grief and interogation to take out another account. I do not know which why you are all having so much bother, if indeed you are

  191. David Hickling says:

    Are they going bust? I would have opened a business account with them today, if they had any left to offer! I liked the ethical policy and my Post Office is much nearer than any bank branch.
    Was given a leaflet in the Southampton branch and told I had to phone or go online as they didn’t deal with business accounts in the branch! The girl then looked back at her screen and got on with work while was still sitting at her desk – no goodbye or thank you or anything.
    All of the accounts in the leaflet are temporarily unavailable according to their website, except the FSB account and the Cash Tariff – which has now been restricted to CIU affiliates only. I don’t wish to join either of these groups just to open a basic business account.
    Perhaps they can’t cope with any more business? No stars.

  192. sjp says:

    go!!! Co-op bank more windfarm financing please… dont listen to the NIMBYS!!!

  193. eh says:

    After many years with the co-operative bank I am happy to give five stars. Face to face, telephone and internet banking has all been excellent.

  194. Michael says:

    I have used the coop for 4 years and personally they offer a fantastic service. I love the simplicity of the online banking, the call centre staff are very helpful. I would not consider moving banks at all.

  195. insider says:

    I actually work for the Co-op Bank and Ive got to say that for the majority of the people posting comments I think alot of these people do leave alot of the pertinent information out of what their saying. To miss one payment and your card be cancelled is so untrue. Perhaps the card may be put into arrears until the customer makes the payment and then the card is used again. This is to stop customers getting into trouble with their card.

    Other comments made about customer service. We live in a world were we are not clones but human beings, even though we have one of the best training programmes in the banking industry you may find that sometimes you may get someone on a bad day like cutomers are but overall we are one of the best and were open 24/7. 365 days a year.

    If customers ever get let down or i.e charges. Please note that the Co-op bank has one of the fairest charging programmes out there. They cap there charges and for each customer per 1 year period refund the charges in 1 time if the customer returns there account to credit or authorised limit in 6 working days.

    If you then dont like what you hear, a few things! speak to money management, then if no luck write a letter to Customer Feedback in Manchester, Po Box 48. M60 1GP. or ALTERNATIVELY dont go overdrawn informally people.

    For people who havent been able to sort meetings at the branch or financial advisors. Ring the customer services 24/7 number on 08457 212 212 and they can book an appointment for someone to see you themselves, simple!

    Cheque people. can you please tell me why you think a cheque will be cleared straight away or within two days? lets be serious, if in doubt check it out with us no pun intended.

    We rated 86% from which for out current accounts in March 2010.

    Waiting times?

    Yes you may have to wait to speak to a customer advisor but can anyone tell me were you can ring and not wait. Majority of banks have automated messages saying large call volumes will causes delays 24/7 we dont and we have 3 call centres in the UK that handle our calls. Most banks close in the evening, but we dont.

    Im sure people will comment on my post but that is what this is for and i wont reply as this was a one off comment. Hope you all resolve your problems, a caring staff member.

    As you can see from my poor grammar and possible spelling mistakes im not a marketing man or spinster im just a member of staff but wanted to get that info to you guys.

  196. GSM says:

    I would not believe all these 1 star reviews! They may be other bank employees!! The Co-op/ Smile is best bank I have ever been with. Immediate answering of calls and people who know what you are talking about and who genuinely know how to advise you!! Keep the good work up.

  197. luke says:

    I actually think the bank is fine. The internet banking site isn’t very flashy – but it does work. I’ve never been into a branch, but I’ve spoken to advisers on the phone many times, and I’ve always found the staff to be very helpful – they’ve often gone out of their way to sort out any problems that I’ve encountered. I’d recommend them. Maybe not as slick as some of the other major banks – but a better, more decent bank imo. It sounds like a lot of the one star reviews are fuelled by personal vendettas and bad luck.

  198. Rick says:

    I was denied a mortgage by the Cooperative Bank initially because I work for a foreign embassy, not as a diplomat, just as a local British hire. Apparently they do not give loans to British people who happen to work for foreign embassies. (The gentleman with whom I applied for the mortgage at a branch should have told me that in the first place, but he did not know his own bank’s regulations). That was the first reason. Then I was told there were discrepancies in my income. Then I was told that it was both because I work for an embassy AND because there are discrepancies. Of course, although I asked, at no time did the Bank ever send me their regulations which allegedly state their policy of no loans to workers of embassies. Ethical banking indeed! One wonders if they could get away with not giving loans to people simply because they work in a school! I found another bank which gave me a mortgage and at a cheaper rate.

  199. WS says:

    Fantastic interest rate, but absolutely incompetent customer service. I strongly urge you to not use the Cooperative for your mortgage. In particular:
    They are inflexible – for example the do not accept any materials by email, even to the extent you need to print out emails and post to them.
    They are not proactive – if you don’t chase them during application for a week, rest assured nothing will have happened. No one owns your application.
    They do not keep their commitments – they make commitments about contacting you or getting documents to you, but nearly always fail to keep those commitments
    They are forgetful – during the application process they forgot to send me key forms resulting in weeks of delays.
    I can’t wait for the duration of my mortgage to be up, so I can move elsewhere.

  200. Edward Parsons says:

    Sorry to hear that SMILE are going to stop cheque books, as we have got on well with them for many years, but do need a cheque book.

  201. Paul Rutherford says:

    This has to be the financial institution from hell, failure to respond to correspondence, failure to admit when they are in the wrong, imposing charges that are not relevant, a Chief Executive who does not have the decency to respond, watch for details for the Financial Ombudsman. The whole of this organisation from the bank level in Coventry who provided incorrect information, to the Customer Services in Manchester who fail to respond to communications when provided with all evidence. AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE AND DON’T LET THEM LOOSE WITH EVEN YOUR CHILDREN’S POCKET MONEY!

  202. Rick Osman says:

    We have been business account customers with the Co-op for seven or so years. We chose them because of the ethical concerns which differentiated them from other banks. In most instances they are the same as any other bank except for their business banking website which gets worse and worse. The original site was poor but at least credits and debits showed up in real time. The next site looked better but did not operate in real time. The site just launched is truly appalling, the account information screens are poorly laid out and do not have the same, useful, information, that the previous site had. For instance to see more than three transactions you have to click the print button, and seeing as the site enters a transaction line even for days when nothing happens this is simply daft. We are now investigating other online banks as, despite our preference for the Co-op the incompetence of its online service is such that it is now just too irritating and too difficult to use.

  203. Delaprophetesse says:

    There International arm are the most useless bunch of buckwheats going….

    They have totally messed-up a foreign money transfer that was initially started on the 6th of August…. and here we are end of play 17th….and it STILL HAS NOT GONE OVER….

    Sadly there isn’t a minus -10 rating available…

  204. Sean Inglis says:

    I’m sorry to have to echo the negative comments here – but specifically from a business banking point of view. Certainly the site is a bit cumbersome and old fashioned. I can live with that, banking isn’t meant to be an audio-visual treat. But it’s also disastrously slow, leading to frequent timeouts, automatic log-outs, failures to log in, failures to complete transfers. It can take *hours* to get a transfer to complete, in terms of making it through the required set of screens, with no guarantee of success. I’ve asked about this specifically, and been told that they are aware they have severe performance problems. Most damagingly, they were able to give me no timescale of any kind when they thought they’d start to address the issue.
    My advice is, if you don’t already have a business account, don’t sign up for one. Wait until you see some specific action and reports that these problems have been resolved. I *want* to be able to use this bank. As it is, at least for the type of business account I have, it represents a substantial risk to my business.

  205. Hejdi McLean says:

    It’s too hard to keep going with this bank, in spite of the ethical stance. They are washing their hands of another problem, telling me to sort it myself. Having deposited a foreign cheque into the Co-Op, the sterling equivalent has never appeared in my account, despite the money being debited from the overseas bank. This is still ongoing since March this year. A different person on the phone each time, no written communication from them, claiming overseas bank won’t respond. I phoned the overseas bank today and spoke to a very helpful person who says she has constantly given them the relevant information. I don’t know where to go for help, but will close account once this is sorted.

  206. Peter says:

    My family have been members of the Coop since the 1940s and I have used the business banking for my business for the past five years.

    Online banking is an essential part of my business these days and the Coop online business banking service has always been useless.

    However I put up with it due to my loyalty and the ethical policies.

    We have long been promised an improved business banking service but now it has arrived it is far, far, worse.

    They have introduced a stupid plastic ‘Security Token’ (which incidentally is made in China from petrochemicals) that you have to carry with you at all times to be able to access your account. This is completely impractical and the whole point of online banking is that you can access your account at different times from different locations.

    I consider myself very tech-savvy but the log in process is almost impossible to comprehend and get right. Get it wrong three times and they suspend your account and once logged on the online banking is absolutely useless – worse than before. Despite my loyalty to the Coop I will have to move my accounts elsewhere unless they change the new business banking system.

  207. DM says:

    Transferred money to my account on weekend day, admittedly not a full working day before two direct debits were due out. Money showed up on account. Then, I’m hit for two £30 charges, and the money I transferred in is now showing up as going in AFTER the direct debits were charged? Their system is either designed to mess with your mind, or is broken. Happily customer service topped this by saying that they could not help I would have to speak to Managed Accounts as Managed Accounts is written all over my screen. Aside from the extremely disrespectful comments and inability to explain why the dates on my transactions seem to slide around so inconveniently the Coop Bank have been great. Highly recommended. One star!!

  208. Mark says:

    I think the co-operative bank have been easy to use on the telephone, internet and in branch. However, the best way by far is through there ”face to face” financial advisors that visit you at home. I have an advisor with a very professional yet friendly attitude in the saltburn/whitby area. I have regular reviews, he is always on he end of the phone and he has made me good returns in the years we’ve worked together. What more can I say.

  209. Piglit says:

    I don’t work for this bank, but moved to them a while ago from NatWest (now there is/was a disaster). I don’t recognise the problems negative feedback people are giving. The switch from my previous account was seamless if a little slow, the contact centre staff are good and the calls answered quickly, the automated telephone service is excellent and I have an overdraft facility which on the rare occasions I use it costs me pence. When I lost my card a new one was quickly dispatched and when I had to stop a cheque which had been mislaid by the payees bank, they didn’t charge me. The only negative is their sixth form commune style political posturing is an irritation. Perhaps I have been lucky… far!

  210. lewin says:

    Co-op business banking and personal banking services are different. The Personal works but is pretty primative and not so easy to use. The business banking has been plain rubbish for 3 years. They’ve just introduced a new system (which was supposed to arrive 2 years ago) and it’s terrible. It may not be slow (yet) but the first thing you notice is that you have to review your transactions in a 3 cms high window. I just can’t believe what jokers that they must have working in that department.

  211. Elane Swift says:

    My partner and I have been trying to open a business account with the Coop for over five weeks.

    We finally had confirmation this morning that our account is open. However it will now take another 10 days to receive our debit cards and access to internet banking, so basically we still can’t do a thing with it!

    All we wanted to do was open an account: we haven’t asked for a loan or anything complicated.

    What irks me is that if I went a penny overdrawn their action would be immediate.

    I had a similar problem trying to open an ISA with them earlier this year. I gave up in the end and gave my business to another bank.

    I’m not impressed.

  212. Ash says:

    The newly revised Co-Op Business account is very poor. It looks like the dev team have ‘designed’ it. UX input is non-existent.
    To me there are two serious issues:
    (i) Co-Op’s web-site management team do not operate a quality-control process of any substance. Usability testing is sorely lacking.
    (ii) The company doing the design and build are not up to scratch. Who are they? How did they get selected?

    To give you one example. One expects to see numbers on a bank statement; the balance, the credited amount, the debited amount. The new site adds its own horizontal and vertical scroll bars, to that of the browser’s, and the new vertical bar partially occludes the last column of numerical data!

    This site passed ‘testing’ and went Live – because there was inadequate testing and no usability testing.

  213. Lisa Ward says:

    Smile have always been good to me, the customer service is excellent. Top score. And the ethical policy means a lot to me.

  214. Marcus J Wilson says:

    Been banking with the Cooperative and Smile for the last decade – personal accounts, savings and business banking – and never had any problems. All good.

  215. Rich Beard says:

    Just a warning to anybody thinking of retiring from their Pension Scheme with the unco-operative. It takes them an average of six weeks, (and that’s with chasing them every day), to actually pay out. Their staff are poorly trained, cannot answer your questions without leaving you hanging on the phone for 15 minutes or so, then come back with a stock answer. ,there is nothing I can do at the moment, the person I need to speak to is on the phone !! If you need your pension money, apply for it in good time, as the Unco-operative sit on it for as long as possible. I am seriously wondering if they have financial problems themselves.

  216. Dodie Ritman says:

    The Co-op Privilege account is now free for 1 year to NEW AND EXISTING customers, so the blurb goes, providing you are eligible. Part of the eligibility clause however is that you have to transfer your Direct Debits from a different bank, over to the Co-op. This is impossible for existing customers who only use the Co-op Bank.

    As a loyal member of this bank for over 30 years I now have to carry on paying for the Privilege Account whilst newcomers get it free.

    Where are the ethics there then!! I always thought there was a ‘Co-op difference’. It now appears to be just the same as any other company offering perks to new customers whilst treating their own customers with contempt.

    Will have to look into changing my bank.

  217. A Williams says:

    Just spent a good 15 mins reading all these co-op reviews. All I can say is I’m sure the divergence of experience/opinion exists for all banks and all organisations. Some love em some hate em. I’m sure some have had dire experiences and others faultless service. We’re dealing with human nature, some people and systems within any bank will be inept, inefficient and darn right stupid, and of course others will be wonderful and give excellent service. Also, since we are all human, I daresay some of those writing in will be complaining like mad about nothing.
    Personally I have had excellent service with my Smilemore account and loan account, always easy to talk to someone, good service and sometimes even irritatingly good security measures. The only quibble I had was when the foreign payments dept in Skelmersdale (where else!) sat on a payment which I wanted made urgently, and caused real inconvenience. But that was once.
    However I want to open a business account too and have to admit some of the comments about the Coop business banking system are making me think twice about it.
    Who is perfect?

  218. sixpips says:

    Avoid at all costs if you are taking out a loan – paid off my loan early and asked Co-op to close the account. It remained open for 18 months unbeknown to me but I then had to suffer a downright rude male customer service rep to close it. Fortunately they are uncompetitive in terms of loan APR so no-one else should need to suffer the atrocious attitude of their phone banking staff as I did.

  219. stephen wright says:

    I agree that the bank has gone downhill with regard to customer responsiveness and service. In addition to that, I was astonished to find out that their accounts for youngsters includes an arrangement where a parent has zero rights to view or access the account even of an 11 year old. I have asked whether the bank regards this lack of any form of parental control as responsible banking, but can’t get any response other than an acknowledgment! Clearly, if you want to launder money, use an 11 year old!

  220. Malcolm CaudleThomas says:

    If you want a mortgage, go elsewhere, I now feel like 162 not 62. In the last 5 weeks, had made two requests for application forms, then 3 sets arrived eventually. Sent back, took 5 days to arrive back with them. Asked for P60, which I had sent with the original application. Had to make 2 requests for valuation to be carried. After valuation,had to make 2 requests for copy. Sent P60 in again, tried 3 times by fax, one by e-mail attachment and one by post. Fax failed to arrive, e-mail did but Post yet to arrive. Still not processed, unable to give a future time scale, unable to speak with manager, might ring me or not, depends if they are in the Office? On the plus side, the mortgage department has a 0800, otherwise I would have had to remortgage to pay BT. BT, dont start me off. Victor Meldrew, you have a lot to answer for…

  221. davidr says:

    I have used online accounts with six different major banks. Nationwide is easily the best I’ve seen and the Co-op is easily the worst.

    The two main problems with the Co-op are:

    1. Security is provided a vulnerable electronic device called a security token instead of the two-a-penny universal card readers issued by other banks (which work extremely well). If you want to bank anywhere anytime you are forced to carry this fragile device around.

    2. The interface is very crude. For example if you want to see a list of recent payments you see a tiny scrolling window showing only three items!! The rest of the screen is empty.

    I’m a software developer myself and the important things are obviously what happens behind the scenes. At least the system now seems to be always available. But how can they end up with such a poor interface?

  222. Pauline Stephenson says:

    I have just had a nasty shock after discovering a charge of £80 for using my debit card to buy a pre paid card for foreign currency. I have just sent a letter of complaint as they go on about the fairtrade policy what is fair about charging you to get hold of your own money. Plus there is no branch within 20 miles of where I live.

    Not happy as I have been a customer for 30 years. Am about to post a strong letter of complaint.

    So beware if you want to buy foreign currency they charge you 2%

  223. NotAFraudster says:

    I applied for a Cashminder account on the 5th September. It was declined because of suspected fraud, so they asked me to provide ID and proof of address. I did, and they declined me because of suspected fraud, so they asked me to provide six years’ proof of address history. I did, and they declined me because of suspected fraud.

    What, pray tell, is the point of asking for documents when they won’t make a blind bit of difference?

    Full story here:

  224. Christine says:

    The Co-op Business Banking website is not fit for purpose. I am not allowed to see the information I need to see at a glance. Instead I have to scroll and memorise, which is ineffective and time-consuming. It is not designed from the customer’s point of view and does not give me the quality or ease of service I require. The security token is equally primitive.

  225. Tessa R says:

    Until recently I put up with an atrocious online banking system and lack of branches because of their ‘ethical’ stance and helpful call centre staff. I think I’ve just reached breaking point. The new business banking site breaks new ground in being user unfriendly. You are supposed to somehow divine that HMRC can’t be paid using fastpay, that if you want to transfer monies to a Smile account you have to use Coperative Payment rather than fastpay, that there’s a limit of £1500 on fastpay etc etc., I could have done with a bit of customer care when I rang up politely expressing my frustrations rather than that particular type of smug have you read all of the leaflets, done all the demos etc., I manage account with five different banks and this is the only one that has led me to have a rant.

  226. Leila says:

    I think they are fantastic. Aplogised today for the long wait – there hadn’t been any. Compared to other service companies I have always found them to be useful, freindly, and knowledgable provided you call the appropriate number.
    Their ethical policies which give a real say to customers on where our money is being invested I find a real bonus – no arms deal funding for me please…
    So in summary, service great, ethics great, niggling problems – perhaps but what bank doesn’t?

  227. Tom says:

    We have been with Smile Bank for over 4 years, however over the last year we have found that Customer service and response time have greatly increased. Customers are encourage to use secure messaging – however at the moment i have one issue oustanding and so far it has taken over 140hours to get a response. Their telephone contact number charges 8p/min. Now in the process of tranferrring all accounts elsewhere

  228. david says:

    banked with the co-op for over 22 years…. first few years not to bad but over the last 5 years it has turned into a nightmare!!! Every year i have to fight them for my overdraft… which they then charge me for and charge stupid amounts of interest each month. This year they refused my normal overdraft and put me on a reducing one!! stating they were unhappy with the way my account was being run, strange really because it was the same way it has always been run. then each time i go into the branch they offer me a loan…… get a grip co-op. Now to add insult to injury i have kust telephoned them to pay off my loan, the figure quote last month has dropped this month by only £100…. despite paying nearly £160 off. When i questioned this the girl put me on hold…. for ages…. came back and said she was right…. i questioned it and asked why i had paid £360 interest in six months on a much higher figure and now they were charging me £355 interest for 4 months on a figure that was £1000 less….. again put on hold…. for ages….. just to be told she was right again…. i asked for someone to ring me back and was told this would happen with 48 hours,,,,,, bet it doesn’t. This bank is useless, they mess people around like they don’t matter. I am affriad i agree with everyone else…. ethics rubbish they don’t give a monkeys anymore…. the old co-op died a long time ago…. avoid like the plague.

  229. Joan Johannas says:

    The co-operative bank has been my own personal bank for over 15 years and had full confidence in them BUT now I’d reccomend to anyone to bank elsewhere. Small business account with them (thought it would be a good idea because id banked personally with them for such a long time-big mistake) has cost us our business. Literally it has closed our business down because we are unable to pay our phone line which in turn in our credit card payment machine…. Avoid like the bubonic plague…

  230. Chris B says:

    I thought I had made an electronic payment to HMRC for my VAT due on 31st Dec. Just checked my account for another reason and found the payment failed together with another failed payment for income tax.

    Neither of these were notified to me so i now face a fine from the HMRC for not paying my VAT in time all thanks to the CO-OP Bank!

    Furthermore, their lovely bank at the post office service has lost two cheques that i have paid in and say it is up to me to try to track them down!!

    They are absolutely useless!!

  231. Bill says:

    I have been a member of the Co-op bank for near 40 years. I am told my credit rating is very high. I have a joint account with my wife. We are about to move home. I asked for a three month increase on our agreed overdraft. In spite of the fact that I have been a “model customer” for all these years, they contacted me because they had concerns. One was that I had an account with “Betfair” the internet gambling firm. I asked what this had to do with anytrhing. They said they were the ethical bank. This fact needed investigating. I jokingly said that I( liked a drink too. I was told this was more difficult to investigate but that if they considered it necessary, they would investigate that too. Is this the ” Big Society” or “Big Brother?” Oh dear, I am washed up and finished. I also confessed that I was born a Catholic but had long since lapsed.

  232. Sally Wainman says:

    Co-op Mortgage Dept a nightmare since trying to convert from interest only to repayment.
    Different advice every time you ring up; different amounts quoted; letters with incorrect info sent out; documents not actioned. This has been going on for 3 months.

  233. Tim says:

    I have been with the Coop bank for two years now and have had a very good service – MUCH better then the big name banks I have been with. Their web site has now much better than it was and I have not had a single problem.

  234. Marian says:

    I hesitate to give Smile Bank even one star! They don’t care about customer service. When sent a message through their “Secure Messaging Service” online, it takes days to get a cut and past answer, if you get an answer at all. I send a foreign cheque every month for deposit to my account. They had always deposited it (negotiation with recourse) in a timely manner until just over two years ago when I started having problems with them. Now it can take them weeks to process these cheques when they say in their written policies that a cheques which are negotiated with recourse will be deposited in the account within five working days. I have made a formal complaint and even though the response seemed fair and satisfactory, the last cheque sent is still in their possesion with nothing done, 23 days later!! In the meantime, there is not enough in my account to cover all the direct debits for the month’s bills. This means that one or two of them will be returned unpaid with Smile taking a £30 fee for each unpaid DD, all while they are sitting on my cheque! No, they don’t even deserve one stinking star! I am definitely NOT smiling!

  235. Emma says:

    Can’t believe the coop got so many negative reviews…

    I’ve been with them for 10 years and they’ve been brilliant!

    Staff are charming, competent and efficient, and I’ve never been put on hold for more than a couple of minutes.

    Compared to the awful customer service of the larger multi-national banks, the Coop is a joy.

  236. Kevin says:

    Smile (frown) used to be very good, but over the last three years they have gone from poor to pointless.
    I missed one cc payment (ever) in December as I was away (they were informed) at sea. as a result they re-capped my cc £500 less than is was – why?
    I could have the limit re-established if I pay them a research fee – why?
    I had over £50k with them (credit) I have now moved the cash or am moving the cash – from the 0.25% interest rate to Sandander at +3% .
    bye bye Smile – such a shame you went downhill as fast as you did.

  237. Mesbah Mohammed Amiesh says:

    I have received an e -mail in which the sender claims asum of money has been transfered of my name to co operative Trust bank .Do you have a relation?If so is the e-mail true? please reply tome soon

  238. Barbara says:

    I am extremely annoyed I have regular payments go out on a Friday. My account had twice the value of the DD’s. I was also expecting a substantial same day Bacs.

    At 5.50pm I noted the Bacs had arrived and the scheduled debits had been taken. I then transferred some money still leaving a substantial sum in the account and paid two tiny payments.

    This morning to my horror the online account shows the transfer taking place before the regular payments and the two small payments subsequently before the Bacs is shown.

    How can this be. I could understand it if the scheduled payments hadn’t already be taken, but they had. As always as yet I don’t know If I have been charged , needless to say no banking telephone support at the weekend.

  239. Julian Blackmore says:

    Co-operative bank make a big thing about being ethical and customer-led, but it’s all a sham. At the beginning of May I asked for the forsm to reclaim Payment Protection Insurance premiums. Almost two months later and after five more calls and two letters, I’ve still received nothing. I’ve complained to the Financial Ombudsman.

  240. john morrow says:

    I’ve been with the coop 40 yrs and 15 yrs ago, I went banckrupt through no fault of mine I kept my account on and didnt get into trouble with them, I’ve never been overdrawn. I’ve asked them for a loan several times and the last time they said I would never get one yet 3 of the banks that I went bust with have given me credit so its not that good of a bank. I only use it because I can remember my details, it must be the worst bank in the country I would advise anyone not to bank there

  241. Cassie says:

    I have a student account with the Co-op for the last 2 years and I can easily say that they are one of the worst banks. They cut my overdraft without telling me (so much so that I only found out that my overdraft had been slashed to £20 whilst trying to pay a bill), they did not send a replacement card when the old one expired so that I was left without a card for 10 days. They have now also paid out £260 rent on a standing order I set to finish last month. I have had it with this bank. AVOID AVOID AVOID.

  242. Aitch says:

    The Co-op’s Business Banking website is appalling. I keep hoping they will listen to complaints (surely I can’t be the only one to have had a moan every time I have to ring up and get help?) and redesign / upgrade. It feels like a beta version e.g. has bits of code in brackets and other titles that mean nothing to the ordinary customer. If you search on statements you have to remember when you last ordered a paper statement otherwise it just tells you it can’t find anything. I use other companies’ online banking with no problems.

    • Jon says:

      I agree, coops business banking has always been the worst online banking service I have found. Now they have removed the ability to set payments up future dated. You can only make immediate payments.

  243. Martin Steer says:

    Opened cashminder account over 4 weeks ago, several telephone calls later STILL no debit card or card reader, very strong letter of complaint now sent, nuff said !

  244. Ann Applegate says:

    I had my co-op smile debit card stolen and used. By the time I was aware of this I had lost £764. I reported it to the police but the bank refused to refund my money saying I had been careless and negligent. I have never written down my PIN or told it to anyone. I am very disappointed and want to put my money where it will be better insured

  245. jane says:

    I have been with the Co-Op for about 8 years (current account) and I do think they are pretty good. Very personal and efficient service IMO!

  246. james williams says:

    I am interested in the ‘inducement’ offer of £200.00 to open a current account with this bank. Is it not worth it then?

  247. james ferguson says:

    I can say that CO-OP have the worst customer service I have ever experienced, combined with account charges that come with little warning and a complete inability to assist moving payment dates to avoid these charges. I quickly moved my account and wil never use CO-OP again.

  248. Olly says:

    Having been with RBS for the last 15 years I finally gave up after the terrible customer service I received. I have now been with the Co-Op for the last year – Personal & Business accounts – and I cannot fault them. Switch over from RBS was seamless, and the Co-Op customer service is second to none. I highly recommend them!

  249. Paula says:

    I have been with the cooperative all my life and their service has been good overall, but I have noticed a deterioration over the years with absolutely ridiculous mistakes being made, like crediting and debiting the wrong accounts when using telephone banking, saying they have sent stuff out when they haven’t – all usual admin stuff that seems to be plaguing every business everywhere. I think it’s because people genuinely just don’t care any more to check details, or care about people enough to check. But overall, I think their performance is good and their internet service is always excellent.

  250. Jennifer says:

    Don’t know what’s going on today at the Co-Op, was told that there is a problem with “payday loans” on accounts. Co-Op wasn’t sure if banking fault was with them or the payday companies!!! They expected “fault” to be rectified this evening or tomorrow but seemed very unsure. After some complaint from me they agreed to credit my account. Money was in my account instantly!
    A good result for me, but doesn’t fill me with confidence with the Co-Op, especially as have experienced inconsistent faster payments & on line transactions not corresponding to actual payments. Not good since I’ve only been with them for 6 months.

  251. John Bowman says:

    Made the unfortunate mistake of going a £3 over my overdraft limit only for 1 DAY !! only to be hit with a £20 service charge a month later .

    • Marcus Grant says:

      This does not really give us a comparison between this special and brilliant bank and its competitors – who may well have charged more. At least all these charges are clearly set out for all customers. My experience is the opposite – I was let off a minor debt like this due to it being in one-off when looked at over a longer period in my account (2 years).

      • Chris Smith says:

        It’s fair enough to say this is a special and brilliant bank, but what is this based on? From my experience, this is a terrible bank and the lack of knowledge from some of the higher customer services levels is just incomprehensible from a successful bank. Its my opinion they are only successful due to taking charges without notification and hoping people dont notice. Its been done to me twice and since researching this, it seems its happened to others too.

        Needless to say, I wont be a customer for much longer, I’d drop them now but direct debits come out in a matter of days.

  252. Jenny Sheridan says:

    I have banked with the Co-op for several years and am very happy with the service (I don’t bank online). Wenever I phone with a query I get through fairly quickly to a real human being. They have always been knowledgeable and friendly and don’t do a hard sell of their products.

  253. ruth says:

    I have banked with the coop for 10 years. Their customer service and telephone banking have been great for me: fast,friendly and efficient. Good in the branch too and I’ve never had a problem with the internet banking.I would really recommend them.

  254. Iain says:

    I been with the co operative bank since June 2011.
    Here is the list of the problems I’m facing now:
    1. Failed subject access report they sent me three sheets of paper.
    2. Heavy penalty fees of £20.00 if you go overdraft, some banks charge £5.00 or £10.00

  255. Neil says:

    (on behalf of my girlfriend)

    She has opened an account with Co-op today and found it refreshing that the person she spoke to was a normal, intelligent human being who treated her as the same.

  256. chris rainbow says:

    I find co-op bank to be arrogant unpleasant bullies, I am disabled with special needs and redeemed my mortgage last June, but co-op refused to release my deeds, claiming the figure was plucked from the air and they wont give final statement. I heard nothing for 5 months until I received a letter stating that owing to admin error co-op had paid £109.48 into my account and if I will not return the money, they will take me to court, but how do I know figure to be correct, without statement? I am so alarmed I reported it to police, as surely this is demanding money with menaces. I have had two breakdowns but I am not allowing this bank to bully me. An inquiry was promised, but never undertaken, neither were calls returned. I want to tell everyone that this bank are uncaring, unpleasant, incompetent bullies, who have the tactics of a back street lender and I suggest you all go to your newspaper on line where you will see my comments, in the business sections, each day. I will not stop until I have my deeds, final statement and compensation, so how does it feel to be bullied now? Not too pleasant eh? I can assure co-op that they have picked on the wrong one here, some of us bite back.

  257. Chris Smith says:

    Not a trustworthy bank at all. I’ve had an account for a year now and twice they have hit me with bank charges of £15 for a direct debit they couldn’t give me any details of. They didn’t even notify me of any charges to come either. Odd as there was plenty of money in the account, but they don’t listen and just do as they please. No wonder they are fine through the recession, if they charge people £15 when they feel like it, I’m sure it’s going to add up to a fair amount by the end of the year.

    Customer services are great for standard questions, but if it’s complicated they don’t have a clue and just take you round in circles, even when quoting things like the Direct Debit Guarantee, they are prepared to argue with it and say things aren’t their fault.

    I will be closing my account at the end of the month when I have chance to move my direct debits, I’ve already got an account with nationwide and find their customer services to be better educated and can find answers for you quickly when they don’t know off the top of their head. Never had any issues with nationwide at all.

    If your looking for a good bank avoid co op, they stole £15 on 2 occasions and cannot give me any reason for it, surely that says enough? I need my money to be safe, so I’m sticking with nationwide.

  258. Phil says:

    I have been with the COOP for just over twelve months and always in credit. For some reason the Fraud department lock my card, unable to get money out of my account.

    The helpdesk never has a record of it and then they cut me off while transferring me to the Fraud dept.

    Terrible bank avoid at all costs!!!

    • Athena says:

      I have also had this problem!

      It started a few months ago when my card was being declined randomly in shops, even though there was money on my account. It always happened at really inconvenient times.

      It then went to being declined online, stating that it was being investigated for fraud. At this point I went into branch and she issued me with a new card, apologised and said that the card was most likely the problem. I wasn’t so sure.

      It will now not let me withdraw from ATM’s.

      I went into branch again today and the cashier said that she had known it happen before to other customers, that they couldn’t gain access to their accounts.

      She asked me to ring customer services, and the man then said he would issue me with ANOTHER card, that also had a different PIN. He said that my “card was not in sync with the account”. So now I have to wait 7-10 days for another card to come through. But I have lost all confidence in the bank, and don’t trust that I will be able to gain access to my money when I need it.

      Also looking to transfer to another bank ASAP.

  259. Matt says:

    I have been with the Co-op bank for around 10 years now. At first they were brilliant, service was always amazing 24 hours and I never had a problem. Then everything went sour.

    I was living abroad in Asia and I had taken out a privilege account which I paid around £18 a month for the overdraft of £1600. I also had a personal loan of £2000 which I paid £38.00 monthly repayments. Without my notification they cancelled my overdraft of which I was covering my loan payments. 3 months went by before I was notified that my loan payments had been missed.

    After speaking with the first advisor, he could see that I was not at fault and promised that the account would be corrected, overdraft reinstated and any charges or interest would be repaid/corrected however would take 2 weeks to complete. This was not done..

    The next advisor also promised to do the same with a 2 week lead time, however again this was not done.

    The 3rd advisor then told me that there were no notes on the system to prove that this had been agreed, and then told me due to my credit rating (because of loan payments in arrears) would not be reinstated however he promised to put the account on hold so that no further payments would be taken pending investigation…. this was not done.

    Finally it was agreed that I would pay a reducing overdraft of a set amount to cover my loan and overdraft so no further payments would be missed. I was told this would last 6 months and I had to pay on the 14th of every month to ensure payments would be made on time. I complied with this however the date of the direct debit was not setup correctly. I paid for 6 months however I still miseed the loan payments which I was not notified of.

    2 years went by with the issue still continuing and now I have been told I am being defaulted. I have raised it with the Financial Ombudsman as the Co-op are refusing to take responsibility as there are not enough notes on the system to prove conversations had with their agents.


  260. Mick says:

    Used my Debit Card to hire a car. 6 weeks later the price for the hire car was deducted again without my authorization. Bank say not their fault. Car hire people will not reply to Emails. I filed a double payment claim to the bank. It’s took 3 weeks so far. If the bank are to fault am I entitled to compensation for neglect?

  261. Graham says:

    I was going to open a Business Bank Account with the Co-op but having read the above, I don’t think I’ll bother, I think I will stay with my present bank who charged me a lot of money but at least do put problems right quickly when things go wrong.

  262. Joseph Foster says:

    I was with the Coop for 2 years. Never again!

  263. Laura says:

    Terrible service! Their ethics don’t extend to how they treat their customers. Branch I have dealt with on behalf of my mother (now deceased) has been, on the whole, unhelpful, uninterestered and on occasions obstructive. They give incorrect information and seem determined to hang on to a dead person’s money for as long as they possibly can. I have been told it will take two weeks to process a grant of probate – in this electronic age – come on! Thank goodness I don’t bank with them and I certainly never will.

  264. Pam Church says:

    I bank with the Coop and so do my children and we have had good service from them and I hope they get over this and prosper along with it’s customer base.

  265. Tricia says:

    I have banked with Smile internet , a part of co-op banking group for 12 years. I have found Smile Bank staff to be helpful and courteous always dealing with enquiries quickly and efficiently

  266. Edward Vaughan says:

    I have been with the Co-op Bank since 1974.
    I have accounts also with the other banks. Don’t be fooled by spurious whinings from some people above about poor service – they are no worse than a lot of the other banks. The one’s who have complained above are probably as bad as they say the bank is. They probably talk DOWN to the bank staff and get treated with contempt (perhaps) . . .they may also have very bad accounts and it was suggested that they found alternative banking facilities.
    Do remember that the bigger banks have a streamlining programme at work where they are shutting down a mass of branches.

  267. Jenny Bushell says:

    Very concerned about the current situation re the incompetency of previous managers who have just left witrh no penalties. No contact with members – have to rely on the press for information.They just dis regard members – not acting like a mutual at all.

  268. Mike Tew says:

    The Co-operative Bank are closing their branch in Guernsey, which I use as a UK Citizen living and working abroad. What are they doing for their loyal customer of over 25 years, well absolutely nothing they just don’t care about us. I used to be fully supportive of the bank, its policies and the Co-operative Movement, oh how wrong I have been. As soon as they go out of business the better as far as I am concerned.

  269. David Netherway says:

    Well the Co Operative Bank are as bad as all the rest – they don’t care or understand about us customers, maybe they never did. I’ve been with them for most of my life and I’m close to retiring – I’m one of the bond holders. If I borrowed money from the Co Op Bank, I know how they would treat me if I failed to repay their loan! So why can they get away with this daylight robbery now? Answer – The top union bosses and MP’s are all aboard the Co Op Gravy Train – free loading as per usual
    -When will it ever stop??

  270. Rob Man says:

    I’ve always received good service from them.

    The UK call centres are a welcome relief and always found the person at the end of the phone helpful and knowledgeable.

    The benefits are get from the Privilege account are the best I know of, very suited to my needs (this is the reason why I joined them).

    Personally I’m worried about the current situaiton and wondering whether to take my money out, know I’m covered by FSCS but pay outs aren’t instant (I used them before after the Iceland collaspe).

  271. Jenny Bushell says:

    Taken over by hedge funds-still no word from the executives in charge.Why do we customers have to rely on the media to know what’s going on? Does not have a future as a mutual-does it have a future at all -we should be told.

  272. Billy says:

    I am another customer of their Guernsey branch and have just discovered from their website that they will be closing the branch.

    Perhaps my fault, as an expat I have not visited my Mum in the UK to check my mail for the last three months.

    Seems as if I have less than a month to “voluntarily close my fixed term deposit accounts”, a significant loss in interest to me. How can a shitty bank walk away from the agreed period of a fixed term deposit?

  273. roger edwards says:

    We had dealings with Co-Op bank years ago and they were the most unethical, cheating organisation that I have ever come across. Their demise is long overdue and my only sympathy is for the investors who will suffer due to the bank’s defaults. It never pays to claim to be holier than though – even when you are a Reverend !!

  274. Simon bailey says:

    This bank is absolutely appalling. Really, truly dismal with absolutely no customer service whatsoever. Am closing my account after over ten years after the latest of a series of very serious problems, including the bank literally stealing money from my account (yes, honestly), treating me like rubbish, lying to me, leaving me high and dry for two weeks after cancelling all my cards in error and refusing point blank to do anything about it, failing to deliver the new cards to my flat, then even failing to get them to the right branch to pick them up. Don’t touch them with a barge pole. Truly, truly shocking. This bank genuinely deserves to fail.

  275. toby banks says:

    My statement clearly shows that on the 26th of April 2014 I was in credit by the sum of £643.00 and still in credit by the same amount on the 28th of April. On the 28th of April the bank refused to pay a direct debit of £44, charged me £15 and caused me to be charged £25 by the drawer! This is not the first time I have had a problem but it will be the last.

  276. craig says:

    I have just been refused a bank account by the co-op. They state Experian credit score. But my credit score is 948-1000 GOOD. Very strange, I have 10k in the bank I was going to transfer and a business that is in good standing. I have asked for an explanation, but not even a reply, so my wife who already has savings and accounts with them is pulling the plug, I would have expected a response.

  277. Lawrence West says:

    They cancelled the standing order which was to pay the rent on my house and then said I had done it! They refuse to provide a copy of the audit trail and their customer service and complaints department is a joke. Have emailed the CEO and am not waiting with baited breath for a reply.

  278. Michael Franks says:

    1989 Coop Credit card – insurance policy document 1989. Do you have a copy as I am asked to supply copy to the PPi adjudicator or do you know were I can get a copy please. The bank has refused to supply me a copy!

  279. matthew koumis says:

    If I said the customer service on the Coop bank phone line was like dealing with remedial primary school children, it would be insulting to remedial schoolchildren.

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