Monday, 11 December 2017

Co-operative Bank losses narrow to £135m in six months

Co-operative Bank

LONDON: The Co-operative Bank has reported a narrowing of half-year losses in its first set of results since it secured a financial rescue package.

Losses for the first six months of the year narrowed to £135.2m from £177m in the same period a year earlier.

In June, the Co-operative Bank agreed a £700m rescue package to stop itself from being wound up.

The bank said that the deal was progressing to plan and was “on track” to be completed by September.

Under the terms of the rescue deal, investors have agreed to swap their debt for a stake in the bank. The Co-op Group’s stake in the bank will fall from 20% to about 1%.

Chief executive Liam Coleman said the completion of the restructuring would “secure the future of the Co-operative Bank as a viable stand-alone entity with greater capital strength enabling a new phase in its turnaround”.

He also said that trading in the first half of the year had been “resilient”, given the backdrop of the talks over the bank’s future.

The number of current accounts had fallen by less than 2% – about 25,000 – since the start of the year, the bank said, to 1.4 million.

“The vast majority of customers have remained very loyal as we have progressed the sale and capital raise process and I am extremely grateful for their ongoing support,” Mr Coleman said.

“Of course there is more hard work ahead, and, like other banks, we recognise there are risks to the UK economy, but this is a great bank and we are positive about the future.”

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