Ed Mayo: I’m proud of the Co-operative Bank

In is his final speech to Congress 2013, Ed Mayo said that despite the problems the Co-operative Bank faces, the co-operative movement should be louder and prouder than...

In is his final speech to Congress 2013, Ed Mayo said that despite the problems the Co-operative Bank faces, the co-operative movement should be louder and prouder than ever.

“I’m proud of the Co-operative Bank and the way it has responded to the crisis,” Mr Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, told delegates. “It’s our response to adversity which best shows our character. We use crisis for renewal.”

He reminded those present that the attempted sale of the Co-operative Bank in the late 1980’s led to development of its pioneering ethical policy, launched in 1992.

Problems at the Co-operative Bank should not stop co-operators from promoting the sector, and the bank, he said. “There’s a tendency to marginalise the role and the scale of the sector. For this reason, Co-operatives UK has since 2007 kept a systematic, rigorous account of co-operative entities.”

The latest Co-operative Economy report, released last month, showed the UK has the eighth largest co-operative economy in the world, he told delegates. It also showed the co-operative sector had outperformed the wider UK economy for the fifth year in a row.

The strength of the sector was having a positive effect on local economies, Mr Mayo said. “When you spend a pound in Asda or Amazon it takes flight. Every pound you spend in a co-operative foodstore changes hands five times at diminishing levels before leaving the local economy.

“Everyone recycles paper and bottles. Co-operatives recycle money.”

In this article


Join the Conversation