Newsletter 27 February

Do you know anyone with shares in The Co-op Bank?

The Co-operative Bank is now 30% owned by The Co-operative Group, with the remainder divided between the hedge funds and private investors. Can you help us track down the private investors?
 
As part of our longer-term goal of pushing for the Bank to return to majority mutual control, we are exploring the idea of working with shareholders to form a pro-ethics, pro-co-operation lobby, or for Save Our Bank to buy its own shares. If you currently hold any type of shares in the Bank, or know anyone who does and might support our campaign, we'd love to hear from you! Email us at: info@saveourbank.coop
 
Save Our Bank in The Guardian
 
With the news that The Co-operative Group is likely to face the largest losses in its history and will sell off its farms, Rob Harrison of the Save Our Bank campaign and Ethical Consumer magazine sets out why ethics and co-operation are key to the future of both the Bank and the wider Group. Read his article in Comment is Free.
 
Also, supporters who are interested in the reviews into governance at The Co-operative Group may be interested to join the debate launched by a group of members at http://springboard.coop/.
 
£100 switching offer is good news for the campaign
 
In case you hadn't noticed, in the first week of February the Co-op Bank launched a £100 offer to people opening new accounts. It is good to see the Bank generally looking to the future, and good to see that the promotion reminded potential customers that the Co-op Bank “remains the only high street bank with a clear ethical policy based on the views of its customers”. We see this as an encouraging signal that the bank is not about to abandon its Ethical Policy.
 
Some of our members have told us that they'd like to see rewards for loyal customers who have stuck with the bank too, and we agree with this point. But overall, we are encouraged by the strong role that ethics have played in this offer.
 
The forthcoming 'customer consultation' on ethics
 
We have been engaging the Bank's management team on the subject of the customer consultation.  Their formal position is: “We plan to engage with customers on our ethical policy in spring 2014. The Bank’s ethical policy has been renewed and expanded on four separate occasions since its launch in 1992 in line with customers' views and it is only right that at this point in our history we engage with customers again.”  We are keen to see a consultation which keeps all existing commitments on the table, alongside questions about potential new ethical challenges for the policy to consider.
 
And as we go to press, we have also received an email message from the Co-op Bank Chief Executive to all bank customers restating this commitment to a consultation in spring.
 
... And finally, we've also begun to work on an exciting new collaboration with partner institutions.  More will be revealed in the next newsletter.

Help us spread the message

Please continue to spread the word to more Co-op Bank customers about the campaign.

If you're a social media user then please:

Tweet now, asking people to visit our site and sign up to the campaign:

The Co-op must not sell its ethics down the river: Read here: http://gu.com/p/3n4p8/tw and sign up here: saveourbank.coop/join #SaveOurBank 
 

Contact your Facebook friends and ask them to sign up to the campaign:

The Co-op must not sell its ethics down the river: Save Our Bank’s Rob Harrison explains why: http://gu.com/p/3n4p8/tw If you agree, sign up to the campaign at: saveourbank.coop/join #SaveOurBank