As Paul Gosling writes in the May 17 issue of Co-operative News (hard copy only), the Co-operative Bank’s customer numbers and deposits have held up ’amazingly well’ and interest is reported in several parts of the business.
One account holder speaks for many loyalists in a letter to the News (hard copy only, May 17): “I will stay loyal to the Coop Bank as long as it’s possible. I have been with the bank for over ten years after being disappointed by other high street banks and have nothing but praise. So sad that the Britannia debacle has ted to this. Thank you for the brilliant bank you have been”.
Shaun Fensom, in the March Save our Bank newsletter writes:
“We want to see this sale process lead to an outcome that protects the bank’s Ethical Policy and includes a commitment to customer ownership.
“As well as clearly setting out what we expect from any buyer, we’re building alliances and consulting with experts to look for the best ways to make this happen. We’ve met with Co-operatives UK to discuss the sale process and how we might work together, and have contacted the Bank of England to start a dialogue. We also expect to meet with senior representatives of the Co-op Bank soon to discuss the current situation and how it will affect our members and supporters.
“Some people have asked us: “why don’t you try to organise a customer buy-out?”. It’s an appealing idea – between the bank’s 1.4 million current account customers, the £750m that the bank needs is only around £550 each. However, split between our 10,000 supporters, it starts to looks a little less affordable.
“With our limited capacities, we think our efforts are best spent using the influence we have to try to secure the best deal possible, and to persuade the bank to look to its customers to raise capital. That said, we’re happy to work together with anyone with a good plan to make this happen”.
Edgar Parnell of Co-op Pundit.org focusses on maintaining ‘the integrity of the word “co-operative” ‘ . . . we should not allow the word ‘co-operative’ to be misused. We want to get the UK regulator to exercise his power to stop the misuse of the term “Co-operative” ‘. A petition on this subject will be delivered to Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive, Financial Conduct Authority. It may be read and signed here.