Smile

Smile is owned by the Co-Operative Bank and prides itself on its ethical criteria for investments and savings. It is primarily an internet bank.

As with the majority of internet banks it specialises in internet savings and current accounts, but it also offers credit cards and mortgages through the Co-Operative Bank.

Smile offer a reward current account called Smile More, where you pay £13/month and you receive UK and European motor breakdown cover, worldwide family travel insurance and mobile phone insurance.

34 responses to “Smile”

  1. Miss Talbot says:

    Awful bank. Promote personal service but are inconsiderate of needs and have gone back on a verbal agreement. I would not recommend to anyone.

  2. J A Starbuck says:

    Abysmal. I opened an account over 2 months ago and Smile was to arrange transfer of DD’s and transfer my old acount from HSBC. Their website states the whole process take 14 days or less. Nearly 3 months later the Smile account is still not up and running, but they have closed my old account leaving me in a banking limbo without access to services or my money. They don’t respond to emails for 48 hours or more. Keep clear!!!

  3. Karen Joseph says:

    Fab bank been with them for 5 years and they definately beat Natwest

  4. Richard Hartley says:

    A great bank to deal with. Moved to them after awful and arrogant service from NatWest and Lloyds. Smile are easy to deal with, responsive and fair. No branches but you can get your cash out of any post office which means loads of choice. Ethical investment policy, brilliant online banking service. Highly recommended.

  5. A. Farrell says:

    APPALLING to say the least. Check the horrenduous “£5 daily charge” for being overdrawn on top of a charge of £15. NOT ETHICAL. They take away your overdraft without informing you by letter. They leave a message telling you in the message section of the online banking page. Then they lump on £145 fees after a month.
    Would never recommend this bank. Has to be the worst bank for their fees.

  6. At says:

    Ethical? What is ethical about being charged 5 pounds a day for being £3 over your limit and them making no effort to inform you that you are incurring this charge. Just the same if not worse than any other bank, the ethical thing is just marketing gloss.

  7. Paul Hopcroft says:

    Excellent bank, been with Smile for over three years, have bank, savings and ISA accounts. Maybe not the best rates but very easy to use, transfer money between accounts, set up payments etc., had to use charg-back on visa card transaction once and they deposited the money back in my account with no hassle.

  8. Alan E says:

    I’ve been smiling for six years now. Current and Savings accounts, credit cards, recently moved the mortgage to the Coop bank too. They are excellent. I’ve had a few minor problems, they sort them out. When my credit card number was stolen, they refunded all the money rapidly and got a new card to me in a couple of days. I can’t speak highly enough of them.

  9. TH says:

    Absolute shambles. Their internet banking is stoneage – you can’t even find out what your true available balance is without going to a cashpoint. No running total of what your ongoing balance is, making it a nightmare to budget. The service is patchy at best. Messages left on the web site are rarely replied to. if you do manage to speak to someone they’re usually very friendly, but because the infrastructure of the bank is so bad they can’t solve your problems. terrible for charging – don’t advise you of anything. have made tons of sloppy mistakes then tried to charge me for it. I do my main banking with Lloyds TSB and I have to say they’re a trillion times better. People looking for ethical investments should consider taking a Sharia account with one of the big banks (I’m not a Muslim and I use that at Lloyds TSB) – you’ll get a mile better service than Smile / the Co-op offer.

    • Paul says:

      I don’t know where TH is coming from. My Smile interent banking works in real time giving me instant balance and I’ve always found them to be first rate in dealing with queries.

  10. AW says:

    They have always been brilliant in every way. They told inattentive me that there had been some fraudulent transactions on my credit card and immediately refunded the money. Always friendly and helpful on the phone. Website works well even on a Mac. Triple 5 star for customer service.

  11. Jay says:

    Do not waste your time with Smile. The internet banking service is light years behind other banks such as HBOS. Numerous mistakes, failing to contact me requiring important account changes. Avoid.

  12. george says:

    i’ve had my smile wiped off my face by these people.

    ‘co-operative’? maybe to other banks in ripping customers off. ‘ethical’? that’s if you consider it ethical to have £197 (one hundred and ninety-seven pounds) in cumulative charges taken out of your account for going over your credit limit by £3.34 (three pounds thirty-four) for less than 24 hours.

    i’ve had a fair amount of experience with different banks, and smile have been the most bullying, least communicative, most abrasive and most hostile bank i’ve ever come across.

    do not, if you value your sense of sanity and justice, bank with these people: they and their parent company are absolute hypocrites: they are not an ounce more friendly or more ethical or more customer-orientated than anybody else and in many regards they’re a hell of a lot worse.

  13. Rob says:

    Just had the smile wiped off my face – went over my overdraft limit by £300 for 5 days, my account is normally well in credit. £140 bank charges, which they consider reasonable. For an ethical bank, they don’t behave ethically to their customers

  14. William Rankine says:

    Online banking functional but basic and, worryingly, has not changed in 5 years. Comparisons to HBOS with whose online services I have battled most: smile stmts fit on one page not 3; smile Faster Payments is reliable but limited to c.£100 while HBOS is completely unreliable but much higher limit; smile do respond promptly and competently to online service requests, while HBOS give conflicting answers by phone then do what they please regardless; smile have never made a significant error, and have corrected minor mistakes efficiently, while HBOS have made many major errors and it’s usually a huge struggle to obtain redress and then only grudging.

  15. Max says:

    Their website is Jurassic, their customer service shocking. If you can squeeze a complicated foreign transaction problem into a secure online message limited to 1000 characters without any symbols, without cutting and pasting any text into the minuscule box and can manage all that in 20 minutes, then you can communicate with them. If not, save your typing and open up a proper bank account.

    Want to make a one-off payment on a standing order that’s already set up? Forget it.

    Want to speak to a customer services agent who knows anything about the website that you’ve got to use? Forget it.

    Want completely false promises of managers to phone you back within half an hour just to get you off the phone – plenty of those.

    Want them to refuse a payment every time you make an online transaction on something that’s being bought from another country? They’re hot on that too.

    Want to be stranded abroad having told them where you’re going to be for the next two weeks and still have your card blocked because you tried to make a foreign transaction? Then Smile is the bank for you…

    Quite simply, any other bank would be less stressful, more helpful and employ people who can speak clearly and intelligibly. Avoid the trap I have fallen into and get out while you can.

  16. Somedrink says:

    Past Democratic,welfare minute prison discussion that wing cell background like ring spirit head process person order metal respond effect coal large growing driver existence section curriculum gas unlikely protection chapter device under wish supply atmosphere separate arrive yesterday proportion press body when troop discipline look undertake centre marriage make get help can expert settle impose interested familiar address explanation study plenty need pattern totally king repeat increasingly familiar wide ring must usually ought career dangerous rise same police help meet still resource bridge again compare likely well ourselves hall location release labour neck

  17. Dave B says:

    I’ve had largely a positive experience with Smile but recently seem to be having real problems logging into my account. As the whole idea of internet banking for me is ease of access that’s not good, been trying to make a credit card payment for 2 days now.
    I also wasted weeks of my time after a string of staff gave me incorrect information about a financial problem I had. I eventually complained to the M.D. and to be fair got a nice letter of apology and an assurance from him that he would personally deal with the staff concerned, I could have lived without the couple of months of stress involved though no matter how polite the letter.
    I’ve twice contacted them about their Ethical Policy, my query as to why they banged up their credit card interest rate by 3% in one hit was met by, I think you’ll find we’re still amongst the cheapest… which wasn’t the question. The other question was ignored, as was my e-mail asking why my Bank had lent millions of pounds to the Labour Party with no apparent collateral and also questioning the ethics of supporting a party implicated in an illegal war. Ethics are for adverts apparently.

  18. SS says:

    I have been with Smile for around 6 years. They have always been extremely slow at replying to secure messages. On one occasion I actually had to contact them again because they had not replied for some time!

    I have a Smile credit card (which I am now cancelling) as every time it expires they neglect to send me another. At present I receive computer-generated emails from them to say my credit card statement is ready, but as they have not sent me a new card since my old one expired in November (this has happened on several occasions and I have not moved house!), I am unable to spend on it.

    The first time this happened I contacted them to ask where my new card was – their reply was that, as I did not have a balance on the card, they considered it dormant and would not send out a new card (but they still kept my account open!?). On initially opening my account they messed up my direct debit and I ended up, unknowingly, not paying my minimum payment!

    Waste of time! I will do my banking elsewhere with a bank who reply to their customers, and provide cards for credit card account access.

    At present I have requested via secure message to close my accounts with them – it is two days later and still no reply.

  19. JMH says:

    I have been with Smile since the beginning and I would never change bank at the moment.
    They have always been prompt, kind and very helpful and understand that me and my wife work shifts so only call if necessary, use e-mail.
    When I go away for a few days, i inform them with the exact dates where I am going so that my cards are not stopped – works wonderful if you communicate in good time and nicely.
    When my card got what they thought was a fraudulent transaction they stopped the transaction straight away and phoned me straight away to see if they were correct. They were correct and told me to destroy my debit card and I had a new one two days later in the post,
    5 stars from me. I just hope the start mobile banking soon.

  20. Stefany Szekula says:

    A brilliant bank. I have been with Smile for over four years now and despite the fact that their rates are not the best one could hope for. I believe that they are one of the best banks around. I particularly had an incident where one person at the bank rendered me impeccable service and I was so satisfied and I know I am going to be with this bank for a very long time. I recommend this bank to all of you out there for a wonderful banking experience.

  21. Vic Davies says:

    When I first moved to Smile from the NatWest 3 years ago, everything was good – but since then, Smile’s customer service has deteriorated alarmingly. In my recent experience, the bank’s secure messaging service is simply not fit for purpose. Messages are late in being answered, or not answered at all. Phoning isn’t an easy option, because the Smile website gives no phone number, so urgent communications are virtually impossible. There is no real outreach at a personal level: Smile’s financial products are boringly uncompetitive these days, so despite the disruption it will involve, I am seriously thinking of changing my bank again. Trouble is, are ANY of the banks any better?

    • Paul says:

      I have no problem getting through to Smile by phone using the Co-operative Bank contact number. Every thing I have done with Smile has worked perfectly. No issues at all during years of trouble free banking.

  22. hippo says:

    Naked;y setup to maximise charges

    they freely admit to processing debits before credits so will let you go overdrawn for a millisecond when banking opens and only then credit your account with payments.

    £30 immediate charge for bouncing a DD for a few pounds and then a further £30 for that initial charge taking you over your limit. The second charge is taken just before your pay day. My payday moved forward 5 days recently when I moved jobs and lo and behold so did the charges date. Also the recent items view does not should you a balance of account line by line, I imagine to make it hard to see what you have at given days

    They seem to be one of the few banks to have kept monstrous charges since the bank charges review of the OFT, Barclays charge £8 versus Smile’s £30 for the same transgressions

    That said, always found them friendly and helpful on the phone

  23. Philip says:

    I cannot recommend Smile highly enough. They are an absolute pleasure to deal with, and their ethical investment stance is a breath of fresh air. It genuinely feels good to do business with them.

  24. Jonathan Crewdson says:

    Ethical lending and investing but certainly NOT ethical to anybody with an account. Their level of customer services is atrocious. Their policy to levy debits before credits is designed to maximise their potential for charging fees and overdraft interest. Their complains process is a joke and usually they ignore them until eventually sweeping them under the carpet with indifference. If I could find another ethical bank or building society that offered a current account I would switch tomorrow.

  25. Mr N L Court says:

    Have been a customer for 20+ years but i am thinking of moving on the customer services as now gone FULLY AUTOMATED YOU CANNOT SPEAK TO A REAL PERSON had a [problem my visa payment due to go out on the 13th as not been taken cannot for love nor money speak to a real person limited things you can none of which solve my problem absolutely bloody useless

    • Steev says:

      I’ve been a customer for about 7 years (pretty sure smile hasn’t been going 20 years…) and only had to phone them once a few years ago. Finding the phone number wasn’t easy (it is an internet bank after all) but the problem was solved immediately. However, no problem getting them on the phone now as they have merged their call centre with their parent – Co-op Bank – and it is well published – 08457 212 212

  26. Alan Hopkins says:

    I was about to join but after reading the above. No way!
    One bank out there MUST provide decent service surely!!!!!!

  27. Ketch says:

    Been with smile since 2004. Never had a problem at all with them and on the few occasions I’ve needed to call them I’ve sorted the problem without any problems. The thing I like about smile is no cold calling trying to sell me stuff I don’t want and no junk mail, even email. The only emails I get are to tell me my statements are ready! Excellent all round.

  28. Lasse says:

    Yes, the same as Alan will wait after reading the above. Thanks 🙂

  29. Chris says:

    Smile is a total frustration. Yesterday I tried to phone them as I wanted to top up my ISA before the year end which is this week. I was presented with 5 options none of which was in any way appropriate and none had a real person on the end. I sent 2 urgent secure message which was not answered. I wonder do I have a case for compensation for a loss of interest.

  30. Gord says:

    I joined smile as an ethical bank. They are useless.

    For an internet bank smile have the worst site of any bank I’ve used. The bland colours, links, font size and help are unclear, the categories ambiguous.

    The call staff vary from surly to reasonable.

    I’ve hung on for years but I have other accounts and I can’t stand them any more. Feedback seems to go straight to the bin. The amount of charities/ethical companies that rely on on the moral imperatives of their customers rather than giving true quality of service is a disgrace.

    It could so easily be better but it isn’t.

  31. John in Glasgow says:

    Been with Smile about 10 years, never had any problems. Always quick reply to online massages. I find them much better than mainstream RBS (nightmare) HBOS etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *