The Co-operative Bank has reported another a loss of £477m, one month after it put itself up for sale.
The loss is not as deep as the £610m recorded in 2015, but it is the fifth year in a row the bank has lost money. The bank, in which the Co-operative Group still has a small stake, was rescued from the brink of collapse by a group of hedge funds in 2013. So far, no bidder has declared themselves, but the bank said it was “pleased with the interest to date”. It was forced to offer itself for sale after it was unable to reach a strong enough footing to satisfy the Bank of England’s regulatory requirements.
The bank blamed low interest rates and the higher-than-expected cost of its turnaround plan for its failure to meet the Bank’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) rules. The PRA had welcomed the bank’s decision to put itself up for sale. But the planned sales raised concerns from the former business secretary, Sir Vince Cable, and two Treasury Committee MPs. The Co-op Bank has four million customers and is well known for its ethical standpoint, which its board said made it “a strong franchise with significant potential” to prospective buyers.