Dear Supporter

Final schedule for Saturday’s mini-conference
Here's the final agenda for the inaugural gathering of the Customer Union.  There’s still a chance to register if you’d like to come along and share your ideas about how a co-operative of customers within a co-operative bank could work.  So, do join us in Manchester city centre on Saturday to help get the Customer Union off to a flying start. 

The Co-operative Bank – Saving a Great Idea?
November 19th 2016 @ Ziferblat, 23 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW. (10 minutes walk from Piccadilly Station.)
10.15 Arrival Registration and Coffee
10.30 am to 10.45 am – Welcome and practical information from the Save our Bank team.
Morning theme - All about the Co-operative Bank
10.45am to 11.45 am  Ownership and ethics at the Co-op Bank

A panel of three speakers speaking for roughly 10 minutes each and then opening to questions and discussion.

  • Frances Coppola economist, commentator and former banker – on the Co-op Bank and the wider banking sector in 2016
  • Nick Crofts President of the Co-operative Group national member council - on working together.
  • Shaun Fensom from the Customer Union– on ideas for building a stake in the Co-op Bank

Coffee Break: 11.45 – 12.00
12.00 – 1.00  The closure of Palestine and other solidarity support group accounts

A representative from Amnesty presenting research findings into this issue.  Also discussing wider pressures on campaign groups with new banking regulations.  Panel discussion and questions from the floor.

  • Ryan Brightwell from Bank Track on human rights issues in the wider banking sector.
  • Kathy Brooks from Saddleworth Palestine Women's Scholarship Fund - impact of account closures
  • Peter Frankental from Amnesty - NGO account closures.

LUNCH 1.00pm to 1.45pm
Afternoon Theme – Shaping a Customer Union
1.45 – 2.45  Learning from other co-operatives

Starting with keynote address from Dirk Coeckelbergh CEO of Newb - Europe’s new crowdfunded co-op bank.  Could this model be a plan B for the customer union if the Co-op Bank loses its way under the new owners?  Or perhaps an additional direction of value in itself?

Rob Harrison from Ethical Consumer will also talk briefly about what co-operatives inside football supporters' clubs can tell us about how a customer union might work.  Opening to discussion from the floor.
2.45 – 3.00 Coffee Break
3.00 - 4.00 Where next for the Customer Union?

For Customer Union members. Reflections and practical deliberations on how to include members in decision-making inside the organisation.

For people who have not yet joined the customer union, there will be an opportunity to sign up on the day.

Eventbrite - The Co-operative Bank – Saving a Great Idea

Best wishes

The Save Our Bank team