Dear Save Our Bank supporters,
After its survey on ethics back at the start of the summer, the Co-op Bank is today launching a major advertising campaign, with the ethical policy at its centre. But the new policy itself won't be ready until "later in the Autumn". We’ve been pressing the bank for more details on the policy itself.
The ad – which is on the bank’s website here - is the strongest sign yet that the bank is going to keep its ethical position in place, without dropping anything significant. But the devil is in the details, so until we've seen the policy document itself we're withholding our judgment.
Still, we're pleased to see the bank going on the front foot on ethics and values, and that after all the problems of the last 18 months the bank feels confident enough to invest in this major campaign.
The bank lost 40,000 customers in the first half of 2014. We represent over 10,000 customers that chose to stay and fight, for the ethics and a return to some kind of majority co-operative or member control. We’re increasingly confident that the ethical position will remain. However the bank – which is 20% owned by the Co-op Group - is not talking about the second part.
We still want to see the bank commit to a long-term goal of returning to co-operative control.
Co-operative Bank can keep its name, but will have to "promote co-operative activity"
Co-operatives UK, the trade body for the co-operative sector, has said the Co-op Bank can keep its name for now, despite only 20% of its shares being owned by the Co-op Group. However the bank will have to meet criteria including to “exist in order to promote co-operative activity”, “not discredit the co-operative business model” and “not use the term in ways that serve to mislead others as to whether the organisation itself is in fact a co-operative.”
We’ll be in touch when we hear more from the bank on its new policy.
With best wishes,
The Save Our Bank Team