Based in Manchester, United Kingdom, the Co-operative Bank is a large retail and commercial bank. It is the seventh biggest lender in Britain and the majority of its revenue comes from interest made on these loans.
Cooperative Bank was merged with building society Britannia in 2009 and attempted the purchase of 600 Lloyds branches in 2012 (the bank eventually withdrew from the deal). In 2013, the bank was ‘rescued’ after recording a shortfall of almost £2billion – after the subsequent restructuring, the Cooperative Group no longer owns a stake in the company. The business agreement between the bank and Cooperative Group is due to end in 2020. As a result of these issues the bank lost some 25,000 current account customers in 2017 and reduced its number of branches from 95 to 68 in the spring of 2018.
Cooperative Bank markets itself as an ‘ethical’ bank, and this policy was written into its constitution in 2013. The policy means the bank avoids investing in companies and initiatives including the arms trade, genetic engineering, animal testing, sweatshop labour and fossil fuel extraction. In the financial year 2005-06, the bank turned away almost £10 million in business as a result of this policy.
The ethics policy is overseen by a values and ethics committee and overseen by an independent director.
Cooperative Bank Products and Services
Cooperative Bank has a number of current account options available to customers. The most basic of these is Cashminder, an account designed for those whose financial status might mean they don’t qualify for a standard current account. This account is available for new customers only unless an existing customer needs to switch due to financial difficulty. The account has no overdraft facility or chequebook.
Alongside Cashminder and their standard current account, Cooperative Bank also offers a paid (£15/month) current account named Everyday Extra, which includes travel insurance, roadside assistance and mobile phone insurance.
The bank partners for insurance services with Legal and General, offering life insurance, home insurance and critical illness cover.
Cooperative Bank also allows customers to take out pre-paid funeral plans and has done so for more than 80 years. The bank is the only UK provider of funeral plans to offer fully guaranteed plans for both cremation and burial.
Cooperative Bank Security
Cooperative Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority.