Bank back in mutual ownership

24 May 2024

The Co-operative Bank and Coventry Building Society have announced they had completed a deal for the bank to be acquired by the society.

Bob Dench, chair of the bank said:

“This transaction sees The Co-operative Bank returning to mutuality. I am very proud of all those who have worked so hard over so many years to rebuild the Bank. I am sure the Coventry Building Society will prove to be a very good home for us.”

The announcement follows speculation in recent days that the talks were accelerating to avoid the transaction falling under the remit of the UK Takeover Code.

The bank told the Customer Union:

"this combination is compelling for all stakeholders, including The Customer Union through providing improved products, value and service for both existing and new customers on a larger, more resilient scale. Both businesses share a complimentary and powerful mutual/ co-operative heritage which is increasingly relevant in modern society."

What this will mean

The announcement makes clear:

  • 100% acquisition means the bank is back in mutual hands
  • Combined £90bn group
  • Co-operative Bank customers will be able to become members over time
  • No immediate change to brand or product set
  • Coventry will not hold member vote on acquisition

Our campaign

The Save Our Bank campaign was launched in 2013 - following the effective privatisation of the Co-operative Bank - with two aims:

  • Keep the bank to its ethical promises
  • See an eventual return to mutual ownership

Many said that we were naive, but thousands of us who have remained with the bank will be delighted by this news. We will be watching closely to see what happens next.