The Co-operative Bank has joined Co-operatives UK - the federal body for UK Co-operatives.
The surprise move suggests that the bank is keen to show its support for co-operative values and principles, albeit while only being 20% co-operatively owned. The bank was never actually structured as a co-operative in its own right - until December 2013 it was 100% owned by The Co-operative Group, which is a founding member of Co-operatives UK.
Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, said: “We are working closely with The Co-operative Bank through this period of substantial change and are pleased they are joining in with the wider co-operative movement through their membership.
“Both teams at Co-operatives UK and The Co-operative Bank are committed to working together to reflect good practice in the use of the co-operative name and the implementation of co-operative values.”
Niall Booker, Chief Executive of The Co-operative Bank, commented: “Co-operative values and ethics are at the heart of our bank. While much has changed, our commitment to this has not.
“Indeed, working with the wider co-operative and mutual sector, and adhering to co-operative and ethical values is fundamental to our overall business plan to return The Co-operative Bank to its roots as a smaller, efficient bank focused on serving individuals and small and medium sized businesses.”