This is a curious case. Malcolm Thompson runs a Premier in Darlington. Santander put his cash banking cost up from £80 per month to £500 so he decided to open an account with Co-op Bank. He’s banking on lowering the cost. The snag? His accountant has been trying to set this up since May but has encountered a stream of questions such as does he have a contract with Booker? Malcolm said no, not as such, although he has been a customer for 25 years and thinks he is the Darlington branch’s second largest customer. Then he was asked what a convenience store sells. They asked if Booker could get in touch. The manageress tried three times, fruitlessly. Then he was asked what his current overdraft limit is.

As many of you with Co-op business accounts will know, you cannot just walk into a branch - you have to apply online.

I asked the Co-op what was up and a spokesperson replied: “The business bank account opening process does involve a required level of due diligence that must be adhered to. We’re sorry that the customer has been in the process of their application for some time, but the bank has only requested the necessary information to complete all checks. Where the customer might have deemed requests to be duplicated it was actually an attempt to clarify the required details. Most recently, the bank has requested some information from the customer in November that was, up until this week, yet to be received.”

They have promised to contact him. Anyone else had a setback like this?