The Co-operative Bank can continue operating under its existing name, according to Co-operatives UK.
On 28 July the bank announced a £700m debt-for-equity rescue deal that will see investors swap their debt for a stake in the bank. It confirmed that its name, brand and commitment to co-operative values (set out in its Ethical Policy) would continue unaffected, despite the fact the Co-op Group’s stake in the organisation would be cut from 20% to around 1%.
This statement has now been backed by Co-operatives UK, the sector body which acts as guardian of co-operative values and identity in line with international principles.
“We welcome the new capital agreement for the Co-operative Bank and can confirm that the bank continues to operate under its existing name, with a commitment to co-operative values, with our assent,” said Co-operatives UK secretary general, Ed Mayo.
“The use of the term co-operative where the business is not member-owned is governed by formal criteria set in 2015, after consultation, and is subject to a compliance agreement which we monitor on a periodic basis.”
Mr Mayo added that Co-operatives UK would “continue to monitor and review our approval for the use of the name” as the new ownership and capital structure for the bank takes shape in practice.
“The presence on the high street of a bank with a strong commitment to co-operative values is something that offers genuine choice and benefit to UK consumers,” he said.