Co-op Bank reports losses of £174.4m

The bank has reported its fifth consecutive year of losses – but improved performance in the second half of 2017

The Co-operative Bank has reported losses of £174.4m in 2017, down from £477.1m the previous year, marking its fifth consecutive year of losses.

In August, the bank reported a loss of £135m for the first half of 2017 (2016: £177m), but big reductions in operating expenditure and a £700m rescue deal last summer, saw an improved performance in the second half of the year.

The rescue deal saw the Co-operative Group’s stake reduced to 1%, and the Group offloaded its final stake in September.

In 2017, the Co-op Bank cut its staff costs by £35.1m and non-staff costs were reduced by £20.5m in the year to 31 December, with total expenditure falling from £309.5m in 2016 to £88.3m. The bank has continued to close branches throughout the country. There are now 68 remaining branches, down from a peak of 373 in 2009.

“We concluded 2017 demonstrating a resilient business performance in our priority markets of mortgages and savings, despite the uncertainties earlier in the year,” said Liam Coleman, chief executive officer.

“We are grateful to our investors for their continued support and to our customers for their loyalty during a challenging year for the Bank.

“As we move forward our foremost priority is to continue to reduce our losses and achieve profitability

“Like all retail banks we are operating in a difficult market place and we expect increasing competition in the mortgage market moving forward.”

Mr Coleman cited the Bank’s “distinctive ethical brand” as a “clear point of difference” for the organisation, adding it “must focus on using that in the most effective way to support future growth as we implement our plan to build a successful, sustainable Co-operative Bank.”

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