Cast your mind back to the heady days of July 2012. The Olympics were just around the corner, Alex Ferguson was still a working football manager and Co-operative Bank was poised to lead the biggest shake-up of banking in Britain for a generation.
Sixteen months later and the world seems an altogether different place – particularly for the Co-op Bank.
A sequence of events which started with the bank realising that it couldn’t buy hundreds of branches of Lloyds because it needed to find a spare billion quid or so has culminated – for now, at least – with salacious revelations regarding its former chairman’s extra-curricular activities.
But should we be too surprised, even if Paul Flowers was a methodist minister and former county councillor, and a chairman of a bank which claimed to be ‘different’? Hard drugs and high finance have gone hand-in-hand since at least the 1980s, and in April this year the former government drugs ‘czar’ David Nutt opined that bankers operating ‘under the influence’ played a big part in the financial collapse.
The Co-op now has an almighty task on its hands to win back customer confidence – new chairman Ursulla Lidbetter, a Co-op lifer, has been given the job. It’s one which the Money Shot doesn’t envy. The bank’s big selling point was its ethical standpoint for investments – but the hedge funds have moved in, and they’re hardly famed for holding hands and singing ‘Heal the world’ around open fires.
‘Uphill struggle’ doesn’t quite seem to cut it.
News in brief
Which? reckons that the big six energy firms are leaving us hanging on the telephone – the average on-hold time has ballooned to 47 minutes.
Speaking of energy, Npower received 202 complaints per 100,000 customers in the three months from April to June this year.
Despite record-low interest rates, the average household debt now stands at £54,000 – twice the level of a decade ago, according to the Centre for Social Justice.
On Covered mag this week
If we all started engaging a bit more with our energy providers, it could make the world a bit of a better place, reckons Emily Bater.
Personal finance lingo is baffling consumers.
With the Ashes getting underway, here’s why the Aussies rule when it comes to watching sport.
Read about what the re-launched TSB is (or isn’t) doing differently.
What with ‘selfie’ being declared the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year, we thought we’d hitch ourselves to the bandwagon.
Tweet us your best selfies of you enjoying engaging content or saving money – or, perhaps, both at the same time – with the hashtag #SavingSelfies by 20:00 GMT on Thursday, 28 November, 2013. There’ll be five Gocompare.com goodie bags up for grabs for the best.
Join us NEXT WEEK for another THRILLING instalment of THE MONEY SHOT