Don’t think I am not aware that my reasons for my reluctance and feet-dragging are not wholly convincing. That we are creatures of comfort and that changing banks involves some minor inconvenience is small fry compared to proving to the major culprits that their unscrupulous activities will be tolerated no more. When Jesus admonishes us to take up our cross and follow Him, it is hardly a call to a lifetime of easy options. As Christians this ethos must extend to every area of our lives, not least money; an area which Christ constantly challenged His followers to evaluate during His earthly ministry.
So why still, in my case, the begrudging attitude? Well for a start, I had the misfortune of having a not-so-playfully sardonic adviser at the Co-op. He also happens to be a jobsworth who, despite me providing documentation on several occasions (to my inconvenience) that would normally suffice for the setting up of an account, refuses to accept them due to a slight variation in the spelling of my surname (one of which I am aware and prefer). Contrast this churlish behaviour with the pleasant folk at my local Barclays.
Besides, I have nothing against them personally. I am sure they do not endorse the dubious practices of the organisation for which they work. But they have to earn a wage like everyone else. And in the current economic climate, much of it caused by the very hand that feeds them, high street bank employees can’t be readily dismissed as mercenaries when alternative employment is not so easy to come by. Maybe I should not be so swift to condemn the customer service over at the Co-op. Nevertheless that kind of first impression is difficult to shake. It’s all very honourable mobilising consumers to take action against a corrupt banking system but let’s hope the alternative takes care of the little details, such as decent customer service, as well as the bigger fight. Simple politeness from staff is more accessible and measurable in the mind of Joe or Jane Bloggs than tackling systemic corporate rot.
Mind you, all this apprehension about moving my account is a great way to side step a self-righteous attitude. I wouldn’t be so quick to let others feel the heat of my moral indignation if they decide that, although the MYM campaign has justice on its side, the nitty-gritty of it just feels like too much hassle. Better the devil you know and all that.
So I remain in a state of limbo. Hobbling resentfully towards ethical banking and not entirely sure if my heart is in it or I’m being carried along on something akin to a guilt trip. The thing about doing what’s right is, sometimes you’ve got to just forge ahead despite yourself and eventually, your heart and mind will follow.
(Author: Tola Ositelu)
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Is It Really That Progressive?
Marcus Smith looks at one of the great certainties of life; taxes. (Author: Marcus Smith)
Don't Bank On The Free Market For Competition
CSM Member Alan Norman explores the question, does the Free Market really offer us competition? (Author: Alan Norman)
What Jesus said about capitalism
An article in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday. (Author: Ross Gittins)
Osbourne Vs Jesus - Sunday Trading
Paul Bickley writes about the Sunday trading laws (Author: Sam Buck)
Five Gold Rings
Taking another look at the trade in gold (Author: Chris Edwards)
Too late to turn the ship around?
one CSM member reflects on what they learnt at 'Devil in the Detail' (Author: CSM member)
A response to 'Devil in the Detail' event
CSM member writes about what struck them from CSM's economics training event. (Author: Rev Martin Jewitt)
How will Devil in the Detail help you?
Emily Hewson explores her experience of economics before the 'Devil in the Deatil event'. (Author: Emily Hewson)
Co-ops - an answer to 'crony capitalism'?
Councillor Richard McCready considers the value of Co-operatives to clean up capitalism. Plus video for co-op benefits (Author: Richard McCready)
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Chris Ostrowski wrote this article for the Foreign Policy Centre think tank, reflecting on the state of the Euro crisis and comments on the way forward. (Author: Chris Ostrowski)
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CSM's views on George Osborne's autumn statement (Author: Chris Ostrowski)
In Praise of Co-operation
The proposal of a co-operative revolution (Author: Alan Norman)
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Is this the real battle that we are missing? (Author: Andy Flannagan)
THE MORAL MARKET IS A FREER MARKET
Transcript of talk given by John Milbank at Kings College London (Author: Sam Buck)
Capitalism And Christianity: Some Thoughts
A 'thinkpiece' by CSM member Anthony Sperryn on Capitalism and Christianity (Author: Anthony Sperryn)
THe Economy, taxation and banking
homepage (Author: )
Christian Socialists echo call for power with responsibility
Labour leader links bank crisis, MP expenses and phone hacking CSM calls again for bank reform (Author: Stephen Beer)
An article on the theology of progressive taxation by CSM intern, Sam Brown. (Author: Sam Brown)
The Fork In The Road
A report on Ed Balls' speech at the London School of Economics (Author: Emily Lightowler)
TAX - DODGING THE TOUGH QUESTIONS
Christian Aid's senior economic justice adviser calls for an end to corporate tax-dodging... (Author: Dr David McNair)
Gambling with someone else's money?
Stephen Beer's speech to CSM fringe event on bank reform at Labour Conference. (Author: )
What foundations are the global economy built upon?
A recent article on the state of the global economy (Author: Ian Geary)
Bonuses: What's wrong with them?
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Banks must rediscover values for their own survival.
...banks cannot afford to make any further mistakes; the backlash would probably be disproportionate because people will feel that banks just do not 'get it'. (Author: Stephen Beer)
Give to Caesar what is Caesars: Taxation and the Developing World
In the case of taxation, relationships between rich and poor are mediated by the state. (Author: Dr. David McNair)
Clean Up Global Finance and Put People First
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My Pension, Their Pension, Everybody’s Pension!
Liquidity crunch, falling stock markets, falling interest rates, increasing longevity: all bad news if you are making personal provision towards your retirement and are planning to retire in the near future! Lee Clark looks at pensions. (Author: Lee Clark)