The Co-operative Group today appears to have failed in its plan to retain a 50% stake in the Co-operative Bank, after the breakdown of talks with US hedge funds which own bonds in the bank.
Unite, Britain’s biggest union which represents the staff at the bank has said staff have reacted with shock at the announcement today.
Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: "Today is a tragic day for the UK as the Co-operative Group is no longer in a position to maintain its majority ownership of the Co-operative Bank. This is dreadful for the staff, customers and the wider banking industry.
“This may mean customers will have even less choice on the high street and means we will have yet another finance company seeking shareholder returns over better banking.
“The Co-operative Bank with its long and proud history is now at risk of losing all it ever stood for. The ethos of this important organisation must be protected.”
Unite will be seeking urgent talks with the management of the bank over the next few days in order to better understand what the developments today will mean for the Co-operative Bank.
Contact: Saba Edwards, 020 3371 2058
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.