Co-op Bank says annual loss of nearly £20m is in line with expectations

The Bank has also completed the separation of its IT systems from those of the Co-op Group

The Co-operative Bank has reported an underlying loss of £19.7m for the year to 31 December 2019, in line with its expectations.

The Bank is now owned by hedge funds after the Co-op Group sold it off following its near-collapse in 2013, but retains links to the co-op movement via its involvement in the Hive, an advice and support programme run by Co-operatives UK.

It says it has completed the first phase of its turnaround, with the final separation of its IT systems from those of the Co-op Group along with further de-risking work.

CEO Andrew Bester said: “Our IT systems are now separated from the Co-op Group, we have a high-quality, low-risk loan book and our legacy assets are less than 5% of our balance sheet.

“While there is still work ahead, we have significantly improved our digital proposition and reinvested in our distinctive ethical brand. Our underlying losses are in line with expectations and the higher statutory loss reflects our investment in transformation and the impact of higher than expected levels of PPI claims felt industry-wide.”

He added: “Our core retail and SME banking performance shows our resilience in a competitive market. We delivered controlled mortgage balance growth aimed at protecting margins, and saw increased retail deposits amongst our target customer base. Our SME business began a turnaround this year with deposit balances increasing in a competitive market.

“I am delighted our customer service ratings have improved and that
we were recognised as Most Trusted Mainstream Bank.

“Having tackled the legacy issues of the past, we now have the foundations for the Bank to grow and our brand presents real potential in a market where consumers want to drive change by seeking greener and more ethical choices.”

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