Co-op Bank puts sale on ice but says it’s still “business as usual for customers”

26 June 2017

The Co-operative (Co-op) Bank has withdrawn itself from sale but says there’s no change for its four million customers.

The bank had put itself up for sale in February, inviting offers for 100% of the share capital.

But it’s today announced it is in “advanced discussions” with a group of existing investors to raise more capital, and as such, it’s no longer accepting offers from potential buyers.  

In a statement, The Co-op Bank’s chief executive, Liam Coleman, says: “The proposal with the investors, if implemented, would meet the objective we set at the start of the sale and capital raise process. It would see us continue to operate as a stand-alone entity and would safeguard our values and ethics, which are central to everything we do.”

A further announcement will be made “in due course”.

However, the Co-op confirms that it’s still “business as usual” for customers. Mr Coleman adds: “Today’s announcement does not in any way impact deposits or the products customers hold with us, including savings bonds, or the service we provide.”

Co-op nearly collapsed in 2013 when a black hole was found in its finances; the Bank didn’t have enough “capital”, the money that banks must hold to protect customers from any potential risks. The Co-operative Group, which previously fully owned the Bank had to sell shares to investors and hedge funds. It now owns just 20% of the Bank.

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