Dear supporter

Welcome to the latest newsletter from Save Our Bank, the independent Customer Union working to hold the Co-op Bank accountable to its ethical commitments and to return it to co-operative ownership.

After the summer break, we’re back and getting ready to launch a re-vamped website with a new logo. We'll be announcing this in the next newsletter.

We'll be using the new look in a new drive for more members. Thank you to everyone who completed our survey on where you get your news on all things co-op - the results made interesting reading and will help us in this campaign.

Customer Union Annual General Meeting

The Customer Union co-operative will hold its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 18th September, from 5pm til 6.30pm. Members of the Union are invited to join the meeting by phone, or in person at the Ethical Consumer magazine offices in Manchester - details coming by email to all members next week. You can join the union for a pound a month, or check whether your membership is up to date, on our website.

Co-op Bank appoints new Chief Exec 

The Co-op Bank has named Andrew Bester as its new Chief Executive. This news was followed by an announcement that the bank’s chief finance officer will also be stepping down. Mr Bester was previously chief executive of the commercial banking division of Lloyds Banking Group, where he is reported to have led on inclusion and diversity.

In a statement, Mr Bester said: “[The Co-op Bank] is a well- respected brand, with a long and rich history. It is much valued by its customers and colleagues continues to lead the way with its commitment to ethical, environmental and community matters. Over its recent history, the Bank has been through a period of great change and uncertainty and I look forward to working with the teams to return the business to its former strength.”

When Mr Bester was appointed earlier this month, the bank said they will arrange a meeting with the Customer Union once he has settled in. We look forward to this opportunity to know more.

Bank scores poorly on customer service

The Co-op Bank has in the past been among the better scorers on customer service in the UK banking sector, but the results of Britain’s first mandatory sector-wide customer survey, ordered by the Competition and Markets Authority, had the Co-op languishing in equal 13thplace alongside HSBC. Perhaps the system failure affecting the bank’s online and telephone banking channels in early August negatively affected these results. Tech magazine Wired also reported on a review of online banking security in which the Co-op did not fare well. All matters on which we hope the new Chief Executive will be able to get a grip quickly.

No response yet on V&E report questions

At the end of June we put a number of questions to the bank following the release of its 2017 Values and Ethics report. The bank has promised to respond, and we’ll let you know what they have to say when we hear from them.

Thanks for your support!

The Save Our Bank team