In light of the numerous recent banking scandals I thought I’d write a post about ethical banking and how easy it is to switch bank accounts. I switched from Barclays to the Co-operative last year, after I learned of Barclays’ paltry amount of corporation tax they paid for 2009 ‘Barclays Bank has been forced to admit it paid just £113m in UK corporation tax in 2009 – a year when it rang up a record £11.6bn of profits.’

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I then read that Barclays, RBS, Lloyds TSB and HSBC ‘have all provided funding to the makers of cluster bombs, even as international opinion turns against a weapons system that is inherently indiscriminate and routinely maims or kills civilians.’

Barclays, RBS, Lloyds TSB and HSBC clearly think profits are more important than losing limbs (or your life) because you happened to be a civilian who got in the way. Like the little boy on the right.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want my money being used to kill and maim children.

So I did some research. Frank was already with the Co-operative Bank, which is owned by its members, who are ordinary people like you and me (as opposed to fat-cat bankers whose only priority is lining their pockets). They ensure all investments they make are ethical, they promote  and contribute to community and charitable projects,  and they promote co-operatives as a means of trading, allowing smaller businesses to group together. All profits are shared by the members (i.e. you and me!).

As a bank, they’ve been super. All I did was phone them, after which they sent a document for me to sign which stated that all my standing orders and direct debits could be automatically transferred as well as my balance. I made a few phone calls to get my income paid into the right place, etc.,  and I have not looked back since. I now have a Co-op bank account, insurance and credit card and shop in the local Co-op. When the time comes I will apply for a Co-op mortgage.

Given the latest scandal – ‘Washington politicians considering asking former Barclays chief executive to testify as Libor-fixing controversy crosses to US’

– do you want to change banks? Have you considered the Co-op?