Co-op Bank attracting “credible” interest from buyers

Co-op Bank, which recently reported a £477m annual loss, is up for sale.

The bank, which has 4 million customers, is hoping to generate further capital in order to stabilise the institution. It has said that there has been plenty of “credible” interest from buyers.

In a statement, the bank said: “A number of credible strategic and financial parties have expressed interest in the sale process and are currently evaluating information on the bank.”

Coop Bank Brentwood Essex PHOTO Sludge G Flickr
A Co-op Bank branch in Brentwood, Essex. PHOTO: Sludge G/Flickr

The Guardian reported that the sale is currently only for a 100% purchase, with no parties being invited to buy parts of the institution.

But The Telegraph reported that City insiders believe the bank’s ethical policy is hindering any buyer showing serious interest in a purchase.

The Co-op Bank ethical policies include avoiding hosting events with businesses that contribute significantly to climate change and that test cosmetics on animals.

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Andy Golding, chief executive of OneSavings Bank, believes that the sale will fall through, and he is ready to reignite his interest in acquiring part of Co-op Bank.

Speaking to City A.M., he said: “I think selling Co-op Bank as a bank is a tough ask. It’s got a big capital hole. It’s got a fairly decrepit branch structure. It’s probably not at the forefront of developed IT. I think it’s a tricky one.

“Therefore my conclusion is that it will probably end up being broken up in some way or another.

“If that dismantling occurs they’ll be assets for sale. We make no secret that if there assets for sale, we’d like to be invited to look, please, and we’ll bid if we like them.”


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