The Co-Operative Financial Services Launches 'goodwithmoney' Social Networking Blog

The Co-operative financial services have released there new good with money blog designed to highlight financial ethics. Co-op explains what they aim to provide to the public with this.

Skelmersdale, United Kingdom, October 09, 2008 --( The Co-operative Financial Services has launched its very own blog at . The site has been designed to provide a platform on which to highlight examples of where The Co-operative Financial Services has demonstrated clear 'ethics in action' and to provide the public with a chance to post their comment and views on the corporate and socially responsible activity which the organization is involved in.

The first subject to be featured on the site will be The Co-operative Bank's support for Microfinance*. The Co-operative Bank has created a special £25m fund in order to support the development of small businesses in new and developing countries as well as some of the world's poorest countries. The Bank has already provided support in 25 countries worldwide including Nicaragua, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Ecuador, Kenya and Bosnia.

In May of 2008 The Co-operative Bank sent two members of staff to see at first hand the real impact microfinance has had on peoples' lives by visiting some of the projects it had recently supported in Bosnia.

The visit was of particular significance to one member of staff Belma Gracankic (25), who is herself a Bosnian refugee having come to the UK in 1993 along with her family to escape the war in Sarajevo.

Belma, along with her colleague Sangeeta, recorded a video diary of the visit in which she talks to some of the people in Bosnia who as a result of the microfinance funding have managed to rebuild their lives following the war. Belma also, for the first time since leaving Bosnia, returns to the village (Derventa) where she grew up and talks openly about the hardship she and her family had to go through during the war and describes to what the lengths they had to go to in order to escape the war**.

The 'goodwithmoney' blog will host a series of video clips, archive footage, interviews and photographs both via the site, vimeo, flicker and you tube where over the coming weeks those logging on can follow their trip step by step and post their views/comments.

Belma Gracankic, Relationship Manager at the Co-operative Bank, commented, "I take great pride in working for a bank that take its ethical credentials so seriously. I was delighted to return to Bosnia and to see some of my fellow Bosnian's rebuilding their lives through the help and support of The Co-operative Bank. It was also especially rewarding to re-visit the places I grew up and so see how they are being rebuilt and regenerated. I hope the blog will provide everyone visiting the site a real insight into what life is now like in Bosnia and how it has changed since the siege of Sarajevo.

Sara-Ann concludes: "Over the last week we've seen people in despair, wondering how to pay their bills, feed their children and keep a roof over their head when there are no wages coming in. Whilst the redundancy could not have been avoided, the financial hardship that will inevitably follow can."

The Co-operative Financial Services Press Office
Duncan Bowker