‘Weak control of managers’ behaviour’: a concerned co-operator’s recent experience


A belated but relevant posting

brian groom ftBrian Groom, Business and Employment Editor of the FT – and for some time a supportive commentator on the co-operative scene – had mentioned that “the near-failure of the Co-op bank has reawakened an old criticism that their large number of stakeholders can lead to weak control of managers’ behaviour”.

RC emailed after reading a recent article to say that reference to the weak control of managers is a timely reminder.  He continued:

“When the chief executive of the Co-op Group said the customer would not pay for the extra testing to ensure that more horsemeat would not get into beef products (1), I asked who would be paying for it? (Presumably the shareholders, who are generally the customers too.

“That was on the 22nd Feb.

“No answer (other than it had been received and food-customer relations would respond in due course).

“This proves the point about management.

“Membership enquiries did not seem surprised that it had not been replied to after 4 months !

“However Peter Marks who sent it, has left (I was given another number to call for food enquiries 0800 068 6727 )

“In turn they did not seem surprised that they’d not replied after 4 months and asked me to send it again, which I did.

A huge responsibility

euan sutherland co-op

Now the Financial Times reports that an enquiry is under way: Euan Sutherland, the Co-op’s new chief executive, is to undertake ‘a rigorous examination of the Co-op’s culture and governance’.

UPDATE 3.10.13 – RC: “and for the record they still have not replied”



This entry was posted in Banking, Co-operative movement, Problems and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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