July 21, 2008
smile.co.uk is an award-winning internet bank of the United Kingdom. It was established as the UK's first full internet bank in 1999. Other banks, like Egg and First-e, had opened in previous years but smile was the first to offer full-service current accounts, savings, ISAs, investments and credit cards.
It is a subsidiary of The Co-operative Bank which is part of The Co-operative Group. As a co-operative, members of the Co-operative Group receive a form of dividend payment if they hold smile.co.uk accounts. The bank's principal offices are located in the Regent House 'pyramid' building in Stockport.Since December 2001 smile now takes the same stance as the rest of The Co-operative Group with their ethical banking policy. They turned away £10 million of business because of their ethical policy during 2005. Smile.co.uk were the first UK online bank to be accredited with the ISO27001 Information Security certification.
The Co-operative Bank’s branch in Oxford. While the bank, like any other, is run on profitable lines, it does occasionally turn away new business which it feels may compromise its ethical policies. In the 2005/06 financial year, whilst making profits of £96.5 million, it turned away business of nearly £10 million. In June 2005, the bank closed the account of a Christian evangelical group (Christian Voice) because of its allegedly homophobic standpoint. They said the group was "incompatible with the position of the Co-operative Bank, which publicly supports diversity and dignity". Christian Voice said the bank was discriminating against it on religious grounds. Gay Times subsequently selected the Co-operative Bank for its Ethical Corporate Stance Award.
Posted by Michael Difensore at 7:29 AM