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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Banks censured for dumping customer data in bins

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has found 11 financial institutions in breach of the Data Protection Act after they dumped customers' personal details in outdoor bins.

See article

Are all retail banks evil?

I confess I was a little shocked by the revelation that UK banks had dumped customer data in bins and Chris Skinner's blog was an interesting read.

I was disappointed to see the Co-operative bank listed. I expected better. They may have messed up in this regard, but I actually moved to the Co-op bank's solely on the basis of their ethical stance which sets them apart from what the public see as the "rip-off merchants". And I know, having sent Smile a stroppy message that I will forgive them.

This set me thinking. I'm not known for anything resembling customer loyalty so why am I so forgiving? Have I been won over by Smile's friendly/ethical marketing message?

It's partly apathy - moving accounts is tedious. And where would I move to, given that this data dumping seemed a widespread practice?

But it's mainly down to my previous experience. Smile's web site is a joy to use. This alone would probably keep me loyal - and the ethical stance is a huge bonus feeding some genuine belief I have that the world can be a better place.

Let's face it - how many banks put their ethical policy online? In fact how many banks have one at all? And anyone who knows anything about the history of the co-operative movement will understand that an ethical policy isn't just necessarily a bit of clever marketing, it can actually change lives for the better, although I freely admit it can be a darn compelling bit of marketing spin too. And why not? Not all marketing is necessarily shallow or evil. (Just most of it).


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