Written on: 05/07/2011
I've banked with Co-op for over ten years, initially attracted by their ethical policies. For all that time I've been swallowing the inconvenience of having to travel further to find a branch, telling myself that the inconvenience to myself is offset by the good things the bank do. It's just about bearable if you live in a city where there's a branch. If you live outside a city, like I do, the inconvenience is huge. Sometimes you just have to go into a branch, for all that internet and phone banking is supposed to make a difference. I must have spent loads of money travelling to and from branches that are, in some cases, nearly 30 miles from where I've been based.
Then there's the problems I've had with the overdraft facility: this bank has zero discretion and will charge you for any minor thing. Although it's easy to get hold of a person in their call centre (once you know which button on the phone takes you through), the staff there are often quite bullying and defensive in tone and don't listen to what the customer is saying.
Although it pains me to say it, it's probably better banking with a high street bank.