Friday, 28 August 2009

Which? Awards 2009

We spotted that in the Which Awards 2009, the Co-operative Bank won 'Best Financial Service Provider'. We have now informed Which of the fact that the Co-operative Bank has misled customers about having ethical policies, and is adding extra barriers in the way of what should be a convenient service, as well as taking part in dubious negotiations with companies whose business it is to create electronic waste and which use repressive regimes in order to get cheaper labour. As a consumer watchdog Which should be aware of the darker side of one of their award winners.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Co-operative Bank update

Today we spoke to a Customer Assurance Manager at the Bank. He was able to give the Bank's perspective, which helped to fill in gaps in our knowledge and understand where the Bank is coming from. However it did not resolve what we feel are serious problems with the Bank's approach.

  • Many reports say that security is a concern for banks, and that they need to do something to battle online fraud.
  • However in some cases it is the companies that sell these security device 'solutions' who are doing the research that creates panics and drives the agenda. For example, Xiring - who are selling these security devices to the Co-operative Bank - "issued its own findings having carried out a survey of UK online banking customers". Yes, there is fraud, but those who shout the loudest warnings are those who have a vested interest in these solutions, which introduces bias. Some of the statistics come from the Government too - but if Iraq told us anything, it is that reports and statistics from civil servants bear little relation to reality, and if a civil servant is pressed for 'evidence' they may turn to the convenient figures from the security companies who are pushing for technological fixes just as easily as an old student thesis that they can tart up and present as 'research'.