Dear Supporter

Welcome to our first update of 2017. Last year we Co-operative Bank customers got organised, building the world’s first customer union together – let’s see what we can do this year.

This month we want to ask you to do two things. Firstly, to share your views on what you think we should prioritise this year, via our short survey. And secondly, if you can, to sign up to join the Customer Union, to help make sure we have the resources to put your priorities into action.

Our priorities for the year

Front and centre of our minds as we kick off 2017 is the question of the bank’s ownership, and how we can help the bank return to at least majority co-operative ownership. But there are a number of ways we can tackle this, and plenty of other ideas – too many to realistically put them all into action, in fact. As a co-operative ourselves, we want to hear your views on what we should prioritise. Tell us what you think is most important: take our short survey.

Help build a stronger customer voice - join the union

Save Our Bank started with seed funding from Ethical Consumer magazine, and we established the Customer Union for Ethical Banking last year with the funds raised from our successful crowd funding campaign. But from now on in, we need to be self-sufficient.

We start the year with 1,500 members paying £12 a year, plus some very welcome donations – a great start, but not enough to cover our running costs and run a significant campaign. If we can double that number, we will approach a sustainable level of funding. If we could convert all our 10,000 supporters into members, we could really be a force to be reckoned with.
To put our plans in place, we need finance. So, if you can, sign up to become a member of the Customer Union here. You can also help by letting other Co-op Bank customers know about the Union.

Other news of interest

  • Via the Concerned Cooperators blog, news that the Co-operative Bank is taking control of the Britannia Building Society’s pension scheme, and will pump £50 million into it over the coming years.
  • Coop News reports that the Bank is working with consulting firm PwC to sell some of its non-core operations, including commercial real estate loans and wind-farm loans.
  • Greenpeace has launched a major petition targeting HSBC for their finance for rainforest-destroying palm oil companies. A useful reminder of the sort of activities you can be sure your money is not supporting at the Co-op. Sign their petition here.
  • And finally, all of the videos from our November gathering are now online on our Vimeo channel.

Many thanks for your support for the Save Our Bank campaign, and please do fill in the survey.

With best wishes,

The Save Our Bank team.