THE Co-operative Bank is to become a big player on the high street by buying 632 branches from Lloyds TSB.
I'll be opening an account. Not because the bank proclaims itself ethical with policies such as promoting fair trade and not the fur trade, or because it's also no-go the arms trade or multi-nationals that destroy the environment.
I want a Co-operative number just like mother used to have. Since you ask, her number in the Glasgow South Co-op was 77498. It's embedded in my last brain cell.
I'll be able to recite my Co-op bank number. Maybe even the sorting code. But not my PIN number, online login, telephone banking password, my mother's maiden name or the name of my first dog.
The new Co-op branches will trade under the TSB name. Which is fine because I still have a very old Glasgow Trustee Savings Bank book with just over £1 in it.
I assume the Co-op will honour this debt as we move into a new era of ethics and a live-within-your-means culture. A dividend would be nice.
Marks & Spencer is opening its own banks instore. The Co-op could perhaps follow this lead in merging shopping with banking.
Get down to your local branch for a plain loaf, an Isa, semi-skimmed milk, a flexible mortgage, and a jar of rhubarb and ginger jam (a favourite when I used to get sent for the messages).
Since it's the Co-op, you could also have a chat about financing your funeral. Just a tentative enquiry, no rush.
As you would expect, it is no ordinary bank account on offer at M&S. It costs £20 a month. But you do get a birthday gift, discount vouchers and 48 free cups of coffee. There's no mention of them doing a minodge.
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