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NEW CAMPAIGN PROMOTES ETHICAL BUSINESS BANKING FROM THE CO-OPERATIVE BANK

15 February 2019

NEW CAMPAIGN PROMOTES ETHICAL BUSINESS BANKING FROM THE CO-OPERATIVE BANK

  • The voices of real customers talk about why they chose The Co-operative Bank
  • Research of UK SMEs shows they ‘believe that doing good is as important as doing well’

The Co-operative Bank today announces a new marketing campaign targeting small to medium sized businesses (SMEs), to promote how its business banking is differentiated by great service delivered by an Ethical bank. 

A recent report by The Co-operative Bank* amongst the UK’s 5.7 million small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), reveals 70 per cent are purpose-driven businesses with a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of their customers and local communities and separate research** also highlights the demand for more competition in the business current account market with 86 per cent saying they would be open to switching.

The new campaign ‘The bottom line is….’ follows The Co-operative Bank’s successful inclusion in the Incentivised Switching Scheme. This is part of the RBS alternative remedies initiative which has been set up to encourage more than 200,000 former Williams & Glyn small-to-medium sized business banking customers to switch to a different bank and launches on 25 February 2019.

The marketing campaign which goes live on Monday 18 February 2019 will run through to the end of March, aiming to relaunch and raise awareness of The Co-operative Bank in the business current account market, putting the bank front of mind for SMEs looking for an Ethical option for their banking needs in the lead up to, and as the switching scheme begins.

Following the successes of the Bank's 25 Year campaign at the end of 2017 and also the Platform intermediary mortgage campaign in 2018 where customers and mortgage advisers told stories in their own words about why they chose The Co-operative Bank; those featured in this new business banking campaign are actual customers of the bank who are passionate about the importance of purpose to their businesses and who wanted a banking provider that shares their values.

The creative features a variety of the Bank’s SME customers from a range of sectors including retailers, educational organisations, co-operatives and charities.  The new campaign ad will be used on Sky Go, Sky adsmart and programmatic targeting it to relevant and engaged audiences, the campaign will also be supported using LinkedIn and Facebook through both paid and organic amplification.

The campaign will also appear at prime outdoor locations in the Bank’s North West heartland, most concentrated around Manchester and Liverpool, and will be featured in all branches, specific regional messages displayed in our northern branches. Agency BJL worked on the campaign creative, with Hearts & Science as the media agency.

Alastair Pegg, Marketing Director at The Co-operative Bank, said: “As our research shows, many of the UK’s SMEs are driven by a strong sense of purpose, and commitment to improving the lives of their customers and communities. Our new campaign brings this to life ‘The Bottom line is…..’ we wanted to provide an opportunity for our business banking customers to share their own stories about the importance of doing good, as well as doing well.

“We are committed to offering small and medium sized businesses a way of banking which supports them in this, helping them to both achieve their commercial goals and make a positive difference to society. Our customer-led Ethical Policy sets us apart from other banks, and this point of difference is one of the main reasons our customers choose to bank with us. Through this new campaign we hope to raise awareness of this amongst even more SMEs, charities and community interest groups, helping them to understand how we can help them to fulfil their purpose and vital role in serving customers and communities.”

More about Business Banking at The Co-operative Bank

The Co-operative Bank is the 7th biggest provider of business current accounts and currently looks after the banking needs of circa 85,000 SMEs, 750 co-operatives, 5,000 charities, and 210 credit unions. All three of the Bank’s main business banking products are rated five stars by Moneyfacts.  Their award-winning Business Directplus Current Account was rated Five Stars by Moneyfacts in 2018 and offers 18 months of free banking to eligible customers.

The Co-operative Bank has a unique partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the UK’s largest membership body and voice of SMEs.  In addition, in February 2016, the Co-operative Bank and Co-operatives UK partnered to form ‘The Hive’, the first co-operative development programme of its kind in the UK, which provides new business support for people wanting to start or grow co-operative or community enterprises, using a mix of online resources, training and advice.

-Ends-

Notes to Editors

*Research of 1,007 UK SME decision makers carried out between 16th-30th November

** Research by BVA BDRC of 250 SME Business Decision Makers conducted via an online survey between 25 September and 1 October 2018.

Media enquiries:

Nicki Parry, The Co-operative Bank: +44 (0)161 201 1590/ 07734 002 983

Nicki.parry@co-operativebank.co.uk

About The Co-operative Bank
The Co-operative Bank plc provides a full range of banking products and services to around four million retail and SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) customers and is committed to values and ethics in line with the principles of the co-operative movement.

The Co-operative Bank is the only high street bank with a customer-led ethical policy which gives customers a say in how their money is used. Launched in 1992, the Policy has been updated on five occasions, reflecting the views of over 320,00o customers and colleague with new commitments added in January 2015 relating to how the Bank operates its business, products and services, workplace and culture, relationships with suppliers and other stakeholders and campaigning.

The Bank’s award-winning Business Directplus Current Account was rated Five Stars by Moneyfacts in 2018 and offers 18 months of free banking to eligible customers. The Bank offers a free business banking account for registered charities, co-operatives and credit unions – its Community Directplus Account – providing them with an ethical way to bank for free. Community Directplus account holders have the opportunity to apply for funding through its unique Customer Donation Fund, which allocates at least £5,000 a year to deserving organisations.  Community Directplus customers can apply for up to £1,000 of project funding from our Customer Donation Fund, with the winners chosen by a panel of colleagues from across the Bank. In 2017, the Bank donated more than £69,000 to 78 community organisations through the fund and in 2018 gave over £40,900 to 44 organisations to support their community projects.

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