Three years after the bank almost went bankrupt; The Co-op Bank has initiated its own sale.
The London Stock Exchange made the announcement this morning. The bank is open to offers to purchase its shares.
The Bank said that it has made good progress since it was rescued by hedge funds from the United States. However, since the financial crisis, the extended period of low interest rates combined with the cost of re-establishing the business has weakened the bank to the point where continuing would not be financially viable for them at this stage.
Liam Coleman, Co-op chief executive has stated: “We have achieved several milestones since 2013 including rebuilding our customer proposition and franchise. We deliver a unique banking proposition that is set apart by our ethics and values. We are highly regarded by our customers; the Co-op bank has carved out a stellar reputation in the banking industry.”
He went on to state that their rebuilding plans were hindered by the long periods of low interest rates and the overall costs of re-establishing the bank. Whoever takes on this legacy will be able to build off the superior reputation that we have left.
The Bank has been the focus of a number of scandals in recent years, Paul Flowers the banks chairman was exposed as a drug addict who apparently went into Treasury Committee meetings under the influence.
Customers who invested in the bank to top up their pensions are now told that they won’t be getting the return on their investments that they were expecting.
One of the major mistakes that led to the banks demise was the selection of board members, none of which had any experience within the banking industry. Representatives included a plasterer, a grocer and a Methodist minister.
Since the Flowers scandal in 2010, the bank has attempted to rebuild its reputation; however, these attempts have been unsuccessful and is one of the main reasons they have put themselves up for sale.