Smile - the Internet bank is first to get world-wide information security award


February 1, 2000

A UK-based internet bank "smile" ( has become the first in the world to be registered to the information security standard, BS 7799. The world-first registration was presented by BSI, the global product certification and quality assurance leader.

Backed by the Co-operative Bank, smile is the only purpose-built internet bank to offer customers a current account as well as credit cards, personal loans, no-notice deposit accounts and a mini-cash ISA.

Kay Ruddeforth, BSI's business manager for IT and telecoms, said: "BSI is proud to have worked with smile on its world-first registration to BS 7799 for internet banking. Registration to the information security standard gives organizations the tools to safeguard confidentiality, integrity and availability of key information, both for themselves and for their customers."

Keith Girling, director of technology at the Co-operative Bank said: "Security is of paramount importance to smile. We knew the multi-levels of security surrounding our internet systems were extremely robust but it is very satisfying to know we have met all the rigorous requirements laid down by BSI."

Offering one of the best current accounts on the market, smile pays 4.50 per cent gross (4.59 per cent gross AER) on credit balances, an automatic no-fee £500 overdraft and an authorised overdraft rate of just 9.9 per cent. There is also a current account for students, paying 4.59 per cent AER and offering a free overdraft up to £2,000.

The strategy behind smile's cyber-security drive was revealed at a BSI seminar on April 11 2000. The seminar, at the InfoSec trade show and conference at Olympia in London, included a presentation of a case study from smile on how it applied the information security standard to its business.

BSI helps organizations get the most value from their management systems through registration to international standards by a process-driven auditing approach. In addition to registering firms to the information security management standard, BSI registers organizations to standards covering the management of quality, environmental best practice, and occupational health and safety.