Co-op Bank change civil partner policy after expose

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Following an investigation by, the Co-operative Bank have announced that they will include a “civil partnership” option on its banking application forms. readers Joe and Neville Temple, who have cohabited for 42 years tried and failed to persuade Smile, the internet subsidiary of the Co-Op Bank to add an option for the legal status of Civil Partner to its application forms.

Following the expose on, the bank, which had previously claimed they were under no legal obligation to include “civil partner” rather than “other” on forms, now says that they will change their policy: “As a leading ethical bank, over the last few months we have been reviewing the initial decision not to include ‘civil partnership’ on our application forms.

In a statement, the bank added: “We are currently in the process of updating our online application form to include the option ‘married or civil partnership’ in the marital status field.

“When our paper application forms are reprinted, they will also be updated. Although this will take place when they are printed again, due to the large volume of paper this involves and the effects it would have on the environment if we were to destroy those already in existence.”

The Temples originally complained to the bank in May this year, following a series of emails to the bank, they were told: “Our Legal services team have advised that they believe that we are under no legal requirement to specifically offer the category ‘civil partner’ as the ‘other’ category can be used.

“This issue was put to The (Co-op) Bank a couple of months ago to see if we would change anything and they have made the decision at this time due to the cost implication that no further action will be taken.”

The couple felt so strongly about the issue that they opened a new current account with Lloyds TSB.

The investigation also highlighted similar problems with Marks Spencer’s banking service and the internet bank Egg.