The Co-operative bank…

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  • The Co-operative bank…
  • morelikeme

    Thinking of changing my banking to these guys, and I’m just wondering if anyone has had good or bad experiences of them…

    Or any other recommendations?



    Sorry, should have said that good internet banking is absolutely crucial…


    I’ve banked with them for about seven years, they are ok, I can’t remember what the internet banking was like, I’m not convinced by all this “interneting” its just a fad, it’ll never catch on.

    Heard lots of good stuff about them. Probably fine as long as you’re not self-employed…a friend of mine who is (and is quite solvent) tried to switch to them recently as she was taken by the ethical stance, and they turned her down because of her employment status.


    smile is the internet bit of the co-operative bank. Been with em since about 2000. They’re ok. No complaints.

    Personally I have had nothing but good experiences with them, the internet banking is very good indeed, and nobody will get through the security questions unless you tell them.
    I also really like their ethical approach, and they are upfront about charges and such. The telephone banking is very good and they have always been very helpful with me, especially with thieving TV shops taking multiple payments (another story!).
    If there is a down side I would say that it’s the lack of branches compared to the big banks, but with t’internet and the telephone service that hasn’t been a problem. Having said that, I’m Manchester local and head office is a short trot from Victoria station when I’m passing through. I do know someone that lives in Stevenage -who don’t have a branch- and banks happily with them.
    Being a professional Northener it chuffs me somewhat that head office is in the capital city of Lancashire!
    Overall, great, can’t fault them.

    Best, LJ.

    What Bimbler & Lost Johnny said, & It’s easy to actually speak to someone as well.

    Premier Icon steveb

    Been with the Smile internet side several years. Very good, no complaints. Any problems have been sorted efficiently, UK staff to talk to when needed.
    Ethical policies a bonus.

    Premier Icon lowey

    Had a current account with them for a while. They are great. Net banking is ok, hassle free. They have a UK call centre who answer the phone straight away.



    I’d highly recommend first direct.

    nobody will get through the security questions unless you tell them.

    I actually managed to fail to get through the Co-Op’s security questions – couldn’t, and still can’t, remember the name of my first school.

    Premier Icon chakaping

    Terrible experience, couldn’t do the simplest banking tasks right and almost lost £3k of our money.

    Customer services were pleasant but utterly unable to help.

    Switched our joint account back to HSBC and plain sailing since.

    Premier Icon theginjaninja

    Had a bad experience of stupid charges not being applied in accordance with their terms. Wrote to them and they sorted it out. Communication isn’t great. Left the account open with £10 in just in case but went back to HSBC.


    HSBC are rapist scum that almost bankrupted me when I was running my own business, if it wasn’t for the co-op I’d have gone under! (not a lending issue ether!)

    Banked with Co-op for about 3 years then switched to smile been with them at least 6 years, always been good, never had a problem. As said as well they have a very good set of ethical policies on arms, environment etc

    morelikeme: are you looking to switch after reading this article about hsbc greenwashing?

    i’ve been with the co-op for years and never had problems. as someone else alluded to, they’re more responsible lenders, which could cause problems for self-employed, etc, but service is good. to lost johnny’s point about limited branches, you can pay in money/cheques and withdraw at any post office.

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    Fine as long as you are employed and have no problems. An absolute nightmare if you stray from the first sentence and not ethical. Charity begins at home folks.


    Got both a current and savings account with Smile. Been with them for about 3 years now, and they have been brilliant, and problems have been sorted instantly, when i entered my secret question answer incorrectly 2 times, i got a phone call to make sure everything was ok lol.

    Internet banking is so so easy, and very secure also 🙂


    seven or eight years here, the only problem with them being that they don’t/didn’t give mortgages on shared ownership properties. After finding out last week that Lloyds are currently trying to scupper the Gaza DEC appeal, and HSBC invest heavily in Burma as well as the Canadian tarpits I’m glad I changed.


    I’m not convinced by all this “interneting” its just a fad, it’ll never catch on.

    That’s because you don’t have proper internets in Swindon; you have to go to Slough, just to see a picture of a lady’s bottom.

    nasty high charges if you go overdrawn. Apart from that they have been excellent on the phone and on the internet for aaaaages. You can pay in cheques and get cash out at the post office. We have an actual branch in town but i haven’t needed to set foot in it for about 5 years!

    Premier Icon Stranger

    They’re very good, internet banking available to both smile and Co-op bank customers. They are about to issue card readers to all their customers to help reduce internet fraud. They like to think of themselves as fair – they recently refunded a credit card transaction for a considerable sum where the selling company had not provided goods and had then gone bankrupt.
    Was it HSBC where a customer had to employ bailifs to get some money back from them following a small claims court judgement?


    Over the years I have used TSB, Lloyds, HSBC, Cahoot and am now with Smile. Personally I have found Smile to be the most helpful and their website is by far the easiest to use and can’t recomend them highly enough. However experiences of different banks are a very personal & subjective thing – I found HSBC to be terrible but other people have been recomending.

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