Co-op Bank's message to customers: It's business as usual

Nearly six out of 10 people have stayed with the same bank for over a decade

LONDON-Britain's Co-operative Bank PLC could pose a fresh test to the regime for bank bailouts in Europe.

The Co-Operative Bank invited offers to buy all of it shares as it continues to complete the turnaround from 2013's near-collapse.

Since we began work on the Bank's turnaround, the Board has always been clear that we would need to build capital for the future.
Either way, investors in its shares and bonds face potential losses.

In 2013, the bank was rescued by various U.S. hedge funds after the organisation nearly went bust when it was discovered that the bank needed £1.5 billion in funding in order to remain afloat. We believe our approach to banking, with values and ethics at the centre of everything we do, sets us apart and remains the key reason why approximately 4m customers choose to bank with us.

Announcing the move early this morning, it said its ability to satisfy longer-term United Kingdom bank regulatory capital requirements has been hampered by low interest rates, along with higher-than-anticipated transformation and "conduct remediation" costs.

Liam Coleman, Chief Executive Officer, added: "Since 2013, we have successfully addressed significant legacy issues, reduced the cost base and rebuilt our franchise and customer proposition".

"We know that our ethical banking proposition, governed by our ethical policy, is important to our customers", he said.

Capita and The Co-operative Bank have now announced that all aspects of the contractual dispute have been resolved and revised terms agreed. However, a deal to revise the IT system used by the bank as part of a "transformation" contract will no longer go ahead.

As well as financial problems, the mutual bank was hit by a number of personnel scandals with chairman of the bank Paul Flowers (pictured) exposed as a hard drugs user.

A spokesperson for the Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority welcomed the announced actions and and said it will "continue to assess the bank's progress in building greater financial resilience over the coming months".

Co-Op expects to report a "significant loss" for the year ending 31 December 2016, driven largely by continued high remediation and strategic project costs, including charges associated with the mortgage outsourcing programme.

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