'The Co-operative Bank – Saving a Great Idea' 

A one-day conference in Manchester hosted by the Customer Union for Ethical Banking.

Saturday 19 November 2016 - Ziferblat, Manchester. The first official gathering for the new customer union.

Eventbrite - The Co-operative Bank – Saving a Great Idea

Building a union of Co-op Bank customers

Martin Rowson cartoon - fat cat being removed by lots of little people
Cartoon by Martin Rowson
Thanks to Martin and Red Pepper magazine

When most of the shares in The Co-operative Bank were sold off to private shareholders in 2013, a group of bank customers, supported by Ethical Consumer magazine, formed the Save Our Bank Campaign. We wanted to make sure the bank kept its world-leading ethical policy and ultimately return to majority co-operative control.

Within a few months, over 10,000 bank customers had signed up to the campaign.

They can't ignore us, the customers

Through crowd power, we successfully persuaded the bank to maintain its existing ethical commitments, and a enhanced policy was launched by the bank in January 2015. But the co-operative stake in the bank remains at just 20% and we need to keep up the pressure.

That’s why we are turning the campaign into a permanent body, a union for co-operative bank customers. The Customer Union for Ethical Banking will be a democratic member organisation that can hold the bank to account, campaign for a larger co-operative voice and buy shares in the bank to help build up the co-operative stake. We think this is the first time a customer union like this has been formed anywhere.

Our Crowdfunder.co.uk campaign to raise money to launch the union has been a great success, with over £30,000 raised and over 1,500 signed up members of the union. We'll be launching the union formally in the new year (2016).

The union - like the campaign - will have two main aims: to make sure the bank sticks to its customer-led ethical policy, and ultimately to help the bank return to co-operative ownership.

We can do this by organising as customers, by working with like-minded investors and by building a new, independent co-operative shareholding.


Ethical Consumer

The campaign is backed by Ethical Consumer magazine, working with ordinary customers of the bank, some of the Bank's charity customers and Co-operative Group members.

Add your voice: sign up to the campaign

@saveourbank  #saveourbank