Editorial: 2.5 billion reasons that change is needed


Where does one start to analyse the past 12 months that has led to one of the most expensive challenges in UK trading history? Two-and-a-half billion pounds is an incomprehensible amount for a co-operative. Losses that large are only reserved for banks and telecommunication companies. It joins Royal Bank of Scotland (£24.1bn), Vodafone (£15bn/£13bn), Lloyds […]


Failures of governance and leadership contribute to £2.5bn loss


“Major failings of governance, leadership and accountability,” has led to the Co-operative Group’s lowest point in its 150-year history, according to interim chief executive Richard Pennycook. Mr Pennycook, who took over the top post last month when Euan Sutherland resigned, said: “The credibility, trustworthiness and financial strength of the Group built up over nearly 150 […]


Co-operative Group reports ‘disastrous’ loss of £2.5bn

The Co-operative Food Branch 2

The Co-operative Group has reported its biggest-ever loss of £2.5bn. “Significant losses” at the Co-operative Bank, which include a disposal of £1.44bn and £625m loss on disposal of the Bank, are to blame alongside a £226m write-down of the 2009 acquisition of Somerfield. The overall loss of £2.5bn, an increase of almost £2bn on last […]


Jazz co-op buys pub and preserves music venue

Saxophonist Stuart Finden was one of the many co-op volunteers who promoted the share issue to visitors to the Gateshead International Jazz Festival

Music lovers have clubbed together to buy a live music and jazz education venue in Newcastle. This week, Pink Lane Jazz Co-op overshot its share target of £125,500, with nearly 200 people buying shares. With investment from the Community Shares Fund and a loan from Co-operative and Community Finance, the co-op is proceeding to buy the […]


Employees buy cafe to form a worker co-operative

Nicola Price-Rohan, Wales Co-operative Centre business consultant Sarah Owens and Anwen Ashton at the new co-operative

Seven employees from a cafe in north Wales have purchased the business and turned it into a worker co-operative. Caffi Florence in Loggerheads Country Park, near Mold, was bought by the employees who took advantage of the opportunity of purchasing the cafe when its previous owner decided to step away from the business. The cafe specialises […]


Co-operative Bank results make grim reading

Co-operative Bank Interior

After months of bad news stories, the disclosure that the Co-operative Bank made a £1.3bn loss in 2013 – following a loss of £674m in 2012 – was no surprise at all. Speaking personally, the biggest shock was delivered last month, when we learned that an additional £400m in capital will be required. This is […]