The Co-op Bank has new entered 'exclusive' merger talks with Coventry Building Society. This is now officially confirmed.
Starting with the Financial Times, which included a quote from the Customer Union, a number of media outlets have now picked up on the story.
We commented to the FT:
"The Customer Union for Ethical Banking, the independent union for Co-op’s customers, said a successful deal would “align perfectly with our dual goals: preserving the bank’s world-leading ethical standards and steering it back towards some form of mutual or co-operative ownership.”
The story was also picked up by the Guardian, which referred to the Customer Union:
A common theme to the coverage was that this could lead to an effective 're-multualisation' of the bank. We'd point out that the bank was never a mutual in the first place, rather it was owned by a mutual - which is more than a pedantic point.
MSN picked up an interesting angle however:
"The proposed merger would not mean that Coventry Building Society demutualises and ceases to be a building society.
A spokesperson from Coventry Building Society said: 'We're proudly a mutual and would never consider being anything else.' "
A possibly unnecessary but nevertheless welcome statement.