If THE Co-operative Bank wishes to establish a reputation for high ethical standards, as Alf Young recommends (Perspective, 27 April), it should look closer to home as well as toeing all the popular lines about human rights abuses, environmental concern and so on. A key ethical failure of banks is their irresponsible advertising of loans. The Co-op Bank website promotes its loan service with a holiday-related picture. Taking out a loan for a holiday is generally unwise, and puts individuals’ and families’ finances at unnecessary risk. Is the Co-op happy to profit from such potentially harmful transactions, and to encourage people to take on debt for such flimsy reasons?
Debt is a profoundly moral issue. One might have hoped that the credit crunch and national debt would drive this fact home, but the desire for profit and self-indulgence still seem to reign.