With six million members, Co-operative Bank is increasing their visibility in a bid to be thought of as a viable alternative to other High Street banks such as RBS, Santander, and Barclays. Stating that customers have no need of lenders using their cash for dangerous investment banking activities, the Co-op added that anger is running high against banks that have been the recipients of massive taxpayer bailouts.
Boasting a sum total of 342 branches, the Co-op already has plans in place to grow even further, which is something of a rarity in the current economic climate. High street banks lost an average of three branches a week in 2010, with a total of 187 closures leaving more than a thousand local communities without any kind of banking facilities in their village or town, according to the Campaign for Community Banking.
The Co-op’s group chief executive, Peter Marks, commented that one of the prime directives of the bank is to support local communities. Co-op, which merged with former BS Britannia in 2009, has re-branded the Britannia branches with new signs and will be providing bank services to Co-op bank account holders.
An additional change, driven by desires to promote a more unified business, is the end of the bank’s banking and insurance arms operating under ‘Co-operative Financial Services.’ A member-owned mutual organisation, it will now be known collectively as simply ‘The Co-operative Bank,’ and will continue to provide customers profit sharing through dividends and control in which direction the business takes.