Co-op ethics 'under fire'

Amanda Jarvis

April 4, 2006

During its recent investigation into the state of the payment protection market, Defaqto asked lenders to quote their PPI charges for a £5,000 loan over four years with an assumed monthly repayment of £150.  Whilst the Co-op was one of the more reasonable providers, its monthly premium of £25.92 was still higher than the £6.00 per month offered by the lowest-priced provider, britishinsurance.com
Consumers taking out cover with the Co-op would have to pay £1244 per year as opposed to britishinsurance.com’s £285.  The Co-op’s Ethical Engagement Policy states ‘companies that we invest in take their environmental responsibilities seriously or do not engage in exploitative practices’ , but britishinsurance.com’s managing director, Simon Burgess, believes the organisation is not practising what it preaches.  
He said: “It saddens me that the Co-op is comfortable charging these excessive rates.  Its policies may wax lyrically about consumer protection, but its pricing structure is more exploitative than protective.”

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