Dear Supporter/Customer Union member

Conference speakers: CEO of Europe's newest co-operative bank, President of the Co-op Member Council

We’re excited to be able to confirm a speaker from NewB for the Customer Union/Save Our Bank forthcoming conference next Saturday (19 November) in Manchester. NewB is the newest co-operative bank in Europe.  Formed in 2011 by 24 NGOs in Belgium, it now has more than 50,000 members including over 138 civil society organisations.  It has crowdfunded much of its capital, works with Rabobank – the largest co-operative bank in Europe – and plans to offer a different, ethical kind of banking.  Dirk Coeckelbergh is its CEO and this is the first time he had spoken in the UK about their work.

In addition we have:

  • Nick Crofts President of the Co-operative Group national member council.  The Co-operative Group remains the biggest shareholder in the Co-operative Bank and we can talk with Nick about how the relationship could work between Co-op members, the Co-op bank and our Customer Union. 
  • Peter Frankental from Amnesty who will talk about their work on how bank closures are causing problems for human rights organisations around the world – and where the Co-op bank’s actions around some Palestinian support groups fit into this picture. We'll also hear from some of the affected groups.
  • Ryan Brightwell from BankTrack on the state of ethical finance in the wider banking sector, how The Co-op Bank compares, and where we might campaign with the Customer Union for it to move in future.
  • Shaun Fensom from Save our Bank on how practical it is to build a co-operative stake in the co-operative bank at a time when the hedge funds are reputedly looking for a sale.
  • Rob Harrison from Ethical Consumer on what the Customer Union might be able to learn from the trade union movement, Football Club supporters’ co-ops and the rest of the co-operative movement on how to campaign for ethics at the Co-op Bank.

There’s just over one week to go, so if you don’t yet have a ticket, head on over to EventBrite to order your yours.
Also, as an added incentive for those who are not already members, we are including membership of the Customer Union for Ethical Banking in the ticket price. This means the ticket price of £25 for non-members includes your first year’s membership of the union, normally £12. If you already signed up to join the Customer Union by supporting our Crowdfunder, tickets for the gathering are just £15.
So do come and join us for coffee, creativity and co-operation at our first gathering, Sat 19th November, 10.00am – 4.30pm at Ziferblat, Northern Quarter, Manchester.
Eventbrite - The Co-operative Bank – Saving a Great Idea

Best wishes

The Save Our Bank team