Some people dismiss the Save Our Bank plan to raise money from ordinary members to buy back a co-operative majority stake in the bank. They say it's a nice idea but the sums of money involved are too high.

Credit Mutuel sees it differently. It is seeking to raise a staggering €3.9bn from members to reduce debt incurred from recent acquistions it has made.

This follows the share issue by Nationwide Building Society last year, which raised £500m in four days and was oversubscribed.